Set Painters Needed for Revels North

  • Volunteer Matt Swett, of Norwich, Vt., paints a set for a Christmas Revels production. (Revels North photograph)

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 11/29/2016 2:14:18 PM
Modified: 11/29/2016 2:14:20 PM

Editor’s Note: This story was published in the Oct. 16 Valley News.

Norwich — Volunteer set builder Matt Swett compares returning to Revels North each year to summer camp: Every year he reunites with the same people to work for an organization they all care about.

“I support it as an organization because their community outreach is just incredible,” said Swett, who has volunteered as a set builder since his oldest daughter, Hailey, began performing in Christmas Revels in 2009.

Performers of all ages, from all over the Upper Valley, perform in the annual Christmas show, with many returning year after year. Perhaps less known, however, are the dozens of volunteers who work behind the scenes to put the production together.

“I am not comfortable on stage,” Swett said with a laugh. “This is a way that I could participate.”

In addition to constructing the sets, Swett also helps with “load in” and “load out,” which requires bringing everything the performers need to Spaulding Auditorium, and bringing it back out once the show is over.

The time commitment for those roles varies: Swett estimates that he spends a total of three eight-hour days for set building and load in, and another eight hours for load out. For set construction, the shifts are broken up into two or three hours each.

“There’s total flexibility,” Swett said. “That’s what I really like about it.”

There’s no minimum time commitment for volunteers. “You can show up for a couple hours and still make a big difference,” Swett said.

There are other behind-the-scenes volunteers needed to help organize the costume shop and alter garments for performers, paint sets, do hair and makeup for the show, and sell refreshments.

“I enjoy being part of the set building because there’s a lot of effort that goes into the set and into the show,” Swett said. “I enjoy seeing the end result. You see the crowds that go there every year and leave so happy. It’s kind of neat.”

For more information about volunteering for Revels North, email volunteer coordinator Laura Craft at

Liz Sauchelli can be reached at or 603-727-3221.

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