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Dickens Christmas Fair 2005 October Missive #2
(sent October 18, 2005)

There will probably be another missive later this week. Enjoy,


In This Missive
Backup Missives Page
More Books Character Auditions: Wanted: Pickwickians
Timegames at Dickens
Timegames & Name Badges
Timegames & The Red Hat Society
Period Keyboard Needed for Twinkleton School

Backup Missives Page
Previous missives are available online at I have created a backup missives page at for times when Mark hasn't had the chance to get the missives up on the official page This is not an official page, just a backup.

More Books Character Auditions: Wanted: Pickwickians
The Pickwick Club is seeking actors.  We are a gentleman's club given to philanthropy, philosophy, scientific inquiry, and a deep appreciation for and an exhaustive study of the fruits of Bacchus.  We recreate the progress of Mr. Samuel Pickwick and his fellow travelers as they tour southern England, celebrating life at one coaching inn after another, during the 1820s - a blithely humourous endeavor.

Auditions for these and other book characters will be held next Tuesday, October 25th starting at 7:00PM in San Francisco. Address will be given when you sign up for an audition time. The location is easily accessible by public transportation and there are no pets for those of you with allergies. No smoking, please.


The following characters are being sought: 

Sam Weller - Mr Pickwick's servant is one of the most popular characters in Dickens' works. He councils his master with Cockney wisdom and is thoroughly devoted to Pickwick.  Full of colorful sayings, and at home in any social situation, Sam possesses the ability to become instantly popular wherever he goes.

Nathaniel Winkle - Younger traveling companion of Mr Pickwick, Winkle is supposedly the sportsman of the group, and will talk knowledgeably about any kind of athletic activity, but all of his attempts at actually undertaking any king of sporting activity prove him to be hopelessly incompetent.

Augustus Snodgrass - Reputed a great poet among his friends and acquaintances, although he has never actually written anything.  Affects a poetic demeanor, and often speaks in an overly dramatic manner.  Was Mr Pickwick's ward when he was younger, as he has no other family.

Resource for these characters can be found at:


If you would like to audition for one of these roles, please email Robert Young at with the following information:

1. Your full name, email address and phone number
2. The character(s) you would like to audition for. (Please prepare a bit of the dialogue for that character - see web resources above - and be prepared to improvise as that character.)
3. Your first, second and third choice of audition time on the posted date above. The auditions will be scheduled at 15 minute intervals, please be patient as we sometimes get a bit behind when auditioning promising actors.
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.

Timegames at Dickens
At last year's pre-Dickens Christmas Fair workshops many of us were astounded at how few of us actually knew which characters our long-time friends were portraying. Me too! The fact was discovered when we asked workshop participants to wear the same Timegames character name & occupation badges that our patron Timeplayers would be wearing at the fair! Seemed to be a good idea to rehearse the new way we invented that served to break the barrier that has always existed - that of encounters with strangers. When patrons wore their chosen Victorian names & occupations on shoulder badges the fear of the unknown between our performers and our patrons seemed to disappear. Note: those badges are now available for patrons to print out online at . Also note: this Timegame is played very differently than the ones at both Tahoe and Stafford Lake.

The Game is designed especially to promote meeting and greeting the marvelous amount of personages you portray from Dickens' books as well as the non-fiction Adventurer's Club members and all the rest of the residents of Old London Town.

This Game worked wonderfully at DCF 2004! Each fair day, over 1,000 patron-players gave extremely positive feedback about delightful encounters with those of you who now felt comfortable approaching them in character.

The Rotarian meet/greet approach is effective! All large membership groups discovered long ago that "Hello, my name is..." works with members who never could remember all the names. Add their occupation and it's even easier. Naming their job provides the ready-to-go answer for that pervasive initial question and ice breaker: "What do you do?" Since none of the DCF performers should be wearing such modern-day contrivances, the responsibility is ours to initiate a greeting.

Last year, our patrons quickly morphed from being only observers of the engaging fun you all seemed to be having to their becoming engaged in the action too and feeling a part of the play (in all its definitions!)

Having now proven how Timeplaying for patrons decidedly heightens and enriches their experience, how about your enthusiastic spreading of the word to everyone you know, and strangers too, that there is a whole new happening they will enjoy at this year's Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Victorian Holiday Party... plus, the fair is one whole bay bigger and opens on Thanksgiving Friday with great discounts! Please steer them toward for the very visual online part of The Timegame, complete with captivating, delightfully written workshops for patron and fair participant alike by Annie Lore and Diana Young.

Timegames & Name Badges
You are the other end of the equation - the completion of the theatrical direct experience promised to patrons. A few of them do step forward - most are more delighted and responsive when *you* engender the encounter. They are telling you they're ready to play by wearing their own character Name Badge. We've added some more levels of opportunity for playing Timegames. Your ideas? Your critiques? are most welcome!

You were drawn here because of your passion for theatre or history or a community of smart and talented friends or all of the above. I greatly value your feedback and added ideas and by next week please - when our potential patrons will begin to see the website.

Timegames & The Red Hat Society
From "Strutting Peacocks" to "Red Hat Babes on the Bay", including "Dames of Vine and Roses" and, not to forget, the "Royal Ladies of Vacaville" - there are these chapters of the Red Hat Society and dozens more in the Bay Area. The phenomenon is amazing! The first Red Hat was given as a gift only five years ago. Presently, there are approximately 350,000 members nation-wide, built on an exciting and simple premise. (Find out about it even if only for sociological perspective.) Much of this "disorganization" parallels our own community philosophy and even calls all the leaders Queens of their chapters, (not just Queens for a day.) They are proud to proclaim that they are a disorganization with the major guideline LAUGHTER whenever, wherever and however.

The Red Hat Society will be especially invited to wear their colorful regalia to opening weekend at a great discount. The way to contact these zany, ready-to-play ladies seems best to be by email as all their official chapters are online. If you have any personal connections with Red Hat ladies in the Bay Area please contact me at My concept is to invite all of these "players" to be a major part of Timegames on our opening Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

With all sorts of regards,
Phyllis and the Department of Community Inclusion
(Word of Mouth is our BEST publicity!)

Period Keyboard Needed for Twinkleton School
The enlarged and fully furnished Seminary for Young Ladies run by Miss Twinkleton (Annie Lore) needs a keyboard instrument, something a bit smaller and easier to move than a standard piano (not that we'd refuse one). Our space is to be supervised at all times, and will be carpeted and fully lockable, and any instrument loaned for our use will be carefully protected from unqualified hands. If anyone has virginals, clavier, parlour organ or other appropriate working instrument and would be willing to entrust it to our dainty little pink hands, we would be more than lavish with tokens of our gratitude (just imagine what those might be!).

Contact Annie Lore at if you can assist. 

To sign up for the missives, please email, and request to be added to the missive list.

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