The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2016 - September Missive #1
Notes from your Missive Maven:
It's September and there are lots of audition notices!
Please remember to contact the folks referenced in each notice above, rather than hitting "reply".
Entertainment Director, Missive & Social Media Maven
|In This Missive|
|Workshop Dates & Locations|
|Dickens Book Character Auditions ~ Wednesday September 28th|
|The Audition Process|
|Characters from "A Christmas Carol"|
|Character from "The Pickwick Papers"|
|Characters from "Oliver Twist"|
|Characters from The Other Books|
|Netflix and Chill Your Dickens ~ Part Two|
|Pipe & Bowl Morris Auditions|
|PEERS: An Afternoon English Country Dance - This Sunday!|
Workshop Dates & Locations
three weekends of workshops workshops start October 29th at Oceana High
School in Pacifica. Workshops and rehearsals begin at 10am run
until approximately 5:00pm. As always, there will be a
mandatory meeting at 10:00AM in the cafeteria on the first day of
first two weekends will be held at Oceana , the third weekend of
workshops and rehearsals will be held at the Cow Palace, with a limited
number of workshops taught on Saturday. No workshops will be taught on
Sunday; that will be dress rehearsal day, which will also include a
10:00AM morning meeting.
More information as it becomes available.
Dickens Book Character Auditions ~ Wednesday September 28th
Auditions for characters from:
A Christmas Carol
and the various Other Books will be held
The evening of Wednesday September 28th in San Francisco, CA.
Please allow time to find the location and get situated.
Location particulars will be given when you schedule your appointment.
character parts listed below are open as of now, if you played one of
them last year and would like to do so again, please contact your
director as soon as possible.
If you would like to audition for one of these roles,
with the following information:
1. Your full name, email address and phone number
The character(s) you would like to audition for. (Please prepare a bit
of the dialogue for that character - see web resources below - and be
prepared to improvise as that character.)
3. Your first, second
and third choice of audition time on Wednesday, September
28th, The auditions will be scheduled at 15 minute intervals,
please be patient as we sometimes get a bit behind when auditioning
4. Optional: A brief note of any experience
you would like us to know about. We will have applications and accept
resumes (not required) at the auditions.
Here's a great page to learn more about the characters and the books:
The Audition Process
(from Therese Porter)
you're interested, please prepare yourself - this is an audition.
Memorize a brief monologue from a character you're interested in, or
the type of character. We'll be looking for your ability to form a
distinct characterization as well as your ability to project yourself
vocally and physically. We will ask you to do some cold readings and
Characters from "A Christmas Carol"
(from Therese Porter)
It's The Book,
without which we would not be doing this! The cast of Christmas Carol
is looking for a few stouthearted folks to fill crucial roles. This is
a commitment of time and energy that requires memorizing lines (you may
be assured that many of our audience know The Book). We are
currently looking for:
Mr Fred, Scrooge's Nephew
embodiment of relentless good humour, fellowship and Christmas Spirit,
Fred has some of the most memorable and marvelous lines in all of
Dickens. Two longish scenes with lines and as much business in the
streets - including interacting with Scrooge - as possible are
required. Young to early middle age, able to project vocally and
physically, both in scenes and interaction in the streets.
Peter Crachit/Young Scrooge/Young Lad (the one Scrooge sends off for the turkey)
10 to 14 years old. Traditionally we have cast these roles with one
actor. Peter Cratchit is a boy being thrust too young into a man's
estate, optimistic and devoted to his family. Two scenes, some lines.
The boy who engages with Scrooge after his Redemption has some
excellent lines and a lot of great theatrical business. There is one
scene with young Scrooge that is brief but pivotal.
Character from "The Pickwick Papers"
(from Colin Hammond)
Pickwick Club is looking for a Nathaniel Winkle.
An upperclass young-ish gentleman character with an eye towards a sporting attitude. Should have experience with improv, be quick-witted and team oriented. Some singing required.
Characters from "Oliver Twist"
(from Cynthia Howell)
youthful innocent boy around whom the entire story revolves. Must look
and act innocent and stout-hearted. Projection a big plus. Looking for
a child 9-12 who wants to act. This role may be full or part-time
is a plucky young man with very light fingers. He is the older
brother that Oliver Twist wished he never had, and Fagin's
protege. This is a scene and audience heavy roll, that requires a
lot of in the streets action. Looking for a child 13-17 who wants to
make a mark. This role may be full or part-time.
Fagin's Den needs a gang! Seeking children 11-17 who are willing to learn to pick a pocket or two.
young woman of the streets who is the tragic heroine of our story.
Looking for an actress 18-29 with horrible taste in men. Looking for a
team player with excellent projection, cockney and improv skills.Bet
young woman of ill-repute. Nancy's best friend. Goes completely mad
when she witnesses finds Nancy's body. Need an actress 18-29 with
excellent projection, cockney, and excellent character and improv
to Mr. Sowerberry and his undertaking business. She steals from her
employer and runs off to London with Noah. Looking for an actress 18-29.
Flash Toby Crackit
somewhat seedy and over the hill flim-flam man and housebreaker.
Partner with Bill Sikes. Uses his charms to woo the housemaids of the
target house while Sikes pulls out the silver. Flash is a very vain man
and takes excellent care of his appearance. Looking for an actor 25-55.
Must be able to charm audiences with words as well as have the
fortitude to be Sikes' best friend. Lots of characterization work, lots
of street work, some scenes work.
horribly disfigured black hearted gentleman. Oliver's half brother.
Monks is the true villain of the show and hires Fagin to find Oliver
and destroy him. Walks with a limp, may or may not have various
"French" diseases. Opium addict. Very rich. Looking for an actor 18-55
who has lots and lots of charisma, character experience, and the
ability to both terrify and enthrall young audiences.
Undertaker to whom Oliver is originally apprenticed. Unfortunately Oliver is mistreated and runs away to London. Sowerberry is described as tall and thin. Looking for an actoi 30-65.
sneaky, lying bully of a young man who causes Oliver to lose his
apprenticeship to the undertaker. Noah runs away to London with
Charlotte and joins Fagin's Gang. Looking for an actor 18-35 who's
willing to be a despicable human being.
Characters from The Other Books
(from Therese Porter and Rydell Downward))
Other Books cast at the Dickens Fair portrays the wide variety of
characters from works of Dickens. We put the "Dickens" in Dickens Fair!
are a company of improvisational actors and our job at Fair is to
continually interact with our guests and fellow actors. We are looking
for experienced improvisational, interactive performers to help fill
out our cast and populate the streets of the event with the vivid and
memorable characters from the fevered imagination of Charles Dickens.
All of the Fair is our stage, and its throngs our ever-changing
audience. This is a full time commitment that requires energy,
enthusiasm, strong improv skills and tremendous esprit de corps.
characters run the gamut of age, physical appearance, station in life
and personality types. People frequently ask us what we are
looking for - what we want are people who love to act and interact.
inspiration, peruse the works of Dickens (online or actual pages) or
watch some of the brilliant British TV and film adaptations of his
works, for an idea of the kinds of characters exist in the Dickens
universe. Even if the roles you're thinking about are filled, it
gives us some idea of the "type" that interests you, and we can often
match you up with a role that you find fulfilling. We are working
with the characters of these books:
- Nicholas Nickleby
- Martin Chuzzlewit (English part of the story only)
- David Copperfield
- Bleak House
- Our Mutual Friend
Netflix and Chill Your Dickens ~ Part Two
(from Therese Porter)
of their exciting story lines, broad range of human experience and
vivid characters, Mr Dickens' works have inspired theatrical
adaptations from the time he first wrote them. Several of the next
Missives will share suggestions for viewing some of the marvelous
adaptations of Dickens available that enable one to enjoy Dickens in
the comfort of one's own domicile without flipping pages. To help
you enjoyably get your Dickens bearings, assist your research and help
you craft your performance, you need only invite a friend or two,
grab some snacks, pour a refreshing beverage, and settle in in
front of your viewing device!
The reason for watching
these great adaptations is that even if you are not playing a character
specifically from Dickens' work, each of us is performing in a
Dickensian world. None of us can be be too big, bright and bold
regardless of where we are performing in the Fair. To that end, if in
the course of your viewing you see a quirk, a tic, a manner of speech
that appeals to you and will enhance your characterisation, consider
incorporating it into your character (as we are fond of saying, there
is no copyright on body language). And if you are moved to
portray a specific character, consider preparing an audition for one of
the book casts - A Christmas Carol, Oliver or one of the Other Books
(Fezziwig's also draws heavily on Our Author for their characters).
This week's suggested viewing:
A sprawling epic examining the best and worst of human interaction with
broad range of superb characters. The book includes a section set
in America that is biting and remarkably pertinent even today, but the
adaptation wisely focusses on the interactions of a sprawling cast of
characters in England. Some of Dickens quirkiest and best loved
characters (at least during his lifetime) capture our attention.
adaptation is in six parts and includes an amazing cast of tremendous
actors including Paul Scofield, Tom Wilkinson, Pete Postlethwaite, and
Julia Sawalha in addition to a host of marvelous British character
actors. Young Martin Chuzzlewit battles to get a
start in life, struggling against family machinations and his own
headstrong pride. In the course of his journey Martin and those around
him struggle with love thwarted, improper desires, family altercations,
greed, ambition, exploitation, and murder!
action moves between a quiet, almost idyllic, country village and the
tumult of London. Villainy preying on beleaguered virtue, engagingly funny comic scenes and interesting peeks into every day life in various social strata all add to the interest. Hypocrisy
versus honour, integrity versus craven appropriation, and so much more
roil in a dramatic stew that is tremendous fun to watch. Some
of the business aspects Dickens pokes fun at are still remarkably
timely (elaborate financial fraud? you don't say!). Great period touches and lots of lovely detail and above all... those characters!
speaking of characters, if you see someone you think would be fun to
play, consider auditioning for Other Books. Information is available
elsewhere in this Missive
Pipe & Bowl Morris Auditions
(from Jason Adajian)
preparation for the coming Dickens Fair and our 2017 season, the Pipe
& Bowl Morris Men proudly announce try-outs for new dancers. We are
looking for fit and healthy men ages 18 and above, with a lack of joint
injuries or back conditions. Knowledge of Morris Dancing is not
required, though any kind of folk or social dance experience is a plus,
as well as any previous theatrical background. If you are selected we
will teach you everything you will need to know to be part of our
performance-oriented tradition. A good attitude, sense of humor and
eagerness to learn are encouraged!
Try-outs will take place in September in Berkeley; if you are interested, please email Jason Adajian firstname.lastname@example.org for information about time and location. Thank you!
(from Dave Batzloff)
you love Victorian ballroom dancing and English country
dancing? Do enjoy dancing and acting at the same time and
introducing people to the joys of social dancing? Fezziwig's Warehouse,
the happiest Christmas Party in Dickens' London, invites ladies and
gentlemen who love to dance and act and to share their love of dancing
with others to join our merry band. Dancing skills, energy, and
stamina are admirable in a Fezziwigger but courtesy, reliability, and
the ability to work cheerfully as part of an ensemble are even more
important. If you don't know how to lead or back-lead, we can teach you
and we're very effective at that!
PEERS: An Afternoon English Country Dance - This Sunday!
(from Cathleen Myers)
Sunday, September 18, join PEERS and the fabulous Bangers & Mash
for an elegant afternoon of vintage dancing - from beautiful waltzes,
polkas, and tangos to a variety of lively English Country dance
classics - at the Alameda Elks Lodge Ballroom. For those needing
an introduction to or a brush-up on English Country dance figures,
there will be a dance class at 1 pm, followed by formal dancing from 2
to 6pm to the music of Bangers & Mash. All Country Dances
will be taught and called at the dance by Cassandra Vlahos and Cathleen
Myers of Fezziwig's. Partners are not required.
modern "afternoon" dress or "tea dance" costume (circa 1900-1930's) is
admired but not required. This is not a formal "tea dance" but there
will be a no-host bar and complimentary light refreshments, lemonade,
and iced tea. Tickets are $10 in advance; $15 at the door. For
ticket information, please see the ball website at http://www.peersdance.org/countrydance.html or email us at email@example.com
Cathleen Myers, PEERS
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~For specific questions regarding performing at the Fair, please email Cat Taylor
If your group would like to perform at the Fair for just one day (school caroling groups, etc.)
please email Robert Young
For specific questions regarding vending at the Fair please email Vendors
For specific questions the beverage department please email Beverage
For questions regarding costumes, please email Costumes