Sent 10/18/16
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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2016 - October Missive #3
Notes from your Missive Maven:
More audition announcements this evening. The big workshop missive will be coming Thursday or Friday.

Please remember that Cat Taylor's email address is
and Robert Young's email address is

Oh, and the new 2016 Great Dickens Christmas Fair video is up on the Facebook page at


Please remember to contact the folks referenced in each notice above, rather than hitting "reply".

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Cat Taylor
Entertainment Director, Missive & Social Media Maven
In This Missive

Reminder: Online Participant Registration!


Since it has been so successful the last couple of years, we will once again be using the EventBrite system for participant registration, as we do for the tickets to the Dickens Fair. This will be for all participants in all categories.  

Everyone enters their registration information, and by clicking the appropriate boxes, have extra fields to fill in based on what they're doing at the fair. Once you've registered you will be emailed a receipt from Eventbrite that you will need to print out and bring to workshops.  Your registration receipt will have places for workshop sign-offs, director/booth owner acknowledgement and costume approval.  

Once you have completed the pre-fair process you will take the completed Eventbrite receipt/registration form to the Pass House to be validated (scanned) and checked against the cast lists  so you can receive your gate pass. 

This allows us to have everyone's information in a computerized system in case of emergency etc, without having to enter every registration form manually. Last year this greatly sped up the lines and we will be doing this from now on.

All participants will still need to be on one of the director or booth owner lists, which will be cross-checked when each person brings their completed registration form to the registration desk or pass house. 

This registration process will of course not be available to the general public so you will need a password to access. 

The URL:
The Password: Registration@DCF2016

So please get registered soon and we will see you on October 29th at workshops. Thanks in advance for your cooperation as we continue to develop this system.

Reverend Palmer's Cockney Christmas Service Time Correction

(from Joe Cinelli)

Warmest Holiday Greetings! Our whole Congregation welcomes you to another year of Dickens Fair and Christmas Services, and we'll be delighted to share our Sunday Mornings at 10:15 with you at Mad Sal's Stage. This year, surrender your weapons and look forward to more tales of morality and vice, and generous application of forgiveness and community building to all. See you at Workshops!
Happy Christmas! 
-Your Rev/Joe Cinelli 

Netflix and Chill Your Dickens ~ Part Three

(from Therese Porter) 
To help you enjoyably get your Dickens bearings, assist your research (you're not just watching something, you're working on your research!) and help you craft your performance, watch some Dickens! Instead of flipping pages or scrolling, you need only invite a friend or two, grab some snacks, pour a refreshing libation, and settle in in front of your viewing device!

A terrific reason for watching these great adaptations (if you need a reason) is inspiration. Even if you are not playing a character specifically from Dickens' work, the Fair takes place in a Dickensian world, and we its players should reflect that.  We all need to be big, bright and bold regardless of where we are performing in the Fair, so 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 the Other Books! (Fezziwig's also draws heavily on Our Author for their characters).

This week's suggested viewing: "
Our Mutual Friend" (1999 IMDB )
The tagline is, "Love in a city where class governs all," but Dickens' last completed novel covers so much more than that, and it is beautifully realized in this lush 4 part adaptation. Gorgeously set, costumed and filmed, this is above all a story that relies on a vast array of fascinating characters - portrayed by a host of wonderful British character actors -  to propel the action. The female characters are especially vivid, interesting and varied (hurrah!).

The lives of the lowest (people who work on the river, in the streets, the pubs and the shops) up the social ladder to the "exalted" ranks of the leisured nouveau riche intertwine in endlessly fascinating ways. There are some terrific villains and wonderfully less than savoury types to keep things lively.  The Thames runs through the scenes as if it were a character in its own right. There's a mystery (more convoluted than actually mysterious), along with the writhing threads of ambition, desire, class struggle, the effects of money, and the redemptive power of love.

As Mr Boffin - the Golden Dustman - says, "It's a real corker!"

Needed: Characters from A Christmas Carol

(from Therese Porter)

It's The Book, without which we would not be doing this! We are currently looking for boys 10 to 14 years old. This is a commitment of time and energy that requires memorizing lines (you may be assured that many of our audience know The Book).  

Peter Crachit/Young Scrooge/Young Lad (the one Scrooge sends off for the turkey)
Peter Cratchit is a boy being thrust too young into a man's estate, optimistic and devoted to his family. Two scenes, some lines and theatrical business.
There is one scene with Scrooge as a boy that is brief but pivotal.
The boy who engages with Scrooge after his Redemption has some excellent lines and a lot of great theatrical business. 
These roles may be combined
If you have questions, contact Therese at bookdirectors@gmail.comĀ 

Needed: Characters from The Other Books

(from Therese Porter and Rydell Downward))
The Other Books cast at the Dickens Fair portrays the wide variety of characters from works of Dickens. Want to help  put the "Dickens" in Dickens Fair? Other Books is interested! 

Our role 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 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. 
Dickens' characters run the gamut of age, physical appearance, station in life and personality types.  We are currently working with the characters of these books: 
  • Nicholas Nickleby 
  • Martin Chuzzlewit (English part of the story only)
  • David Copperfield 
  • Bleak House
  • Our Mutual Friend 
We will be auditioning after workshop period on both the Saturday and Sunday of the first weekend of workshops at Oceana High School. If you're interested, please prepare yourself - this is, after all, an audition. Memorize a brief monologue from a character you're interested in, or the type of character you wish to play. 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 free-form improvisation.
For 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. 

If you have questions email

Needed: 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.

Contact: Colin Hammond -

Entre'Actes at the V&A Needs Stagehands

(from Ellen Hoffman)

Entre'Actes at the V&A needs one dedicated stagehand for each 15 minute show.
Ideally this person will also be available during Dress Rehearsal week at the Cow Palace.

Also we need a bench or loveseat for two young lovers.

Please write to
Thanks from Ellen Hoffman

Household Adventurers!

(from Steve George)

Ever wonder How Oscar Wilde takes his tea?

Are you curious as to why there are such elaborate cheese defense protocols at the Adventurers' Club?

We are continuing our search for Maids and Footmen of the glittering Victorian age.  Join us and learn more about Science and Adventure and our Household!

For more information visit us at Workshops after the first All-Hands meeting.


Steve George

God Bless Christmas Keepers! Join Us!

(from Juanita Watkins)

Are you a natural-born explainer? Compulsively helpful? In another life, could you have been a tour guide? Do you love a parade? Want to sing a little?

Christmas Keepers is a group both for people new to the fair to get a feel for how Dickens Fair operates, as well as for experienced fair folk to share what they know.

If you'd like to know more, contact Juanita Watkins at       

French Postcards Open Auditions for Men and Women (18 and Over)

(from Diana Young)

Thought about joining the cast of the popular Saucy French Postcards show?  Don't be shy!  If you have the last two hours of the Dickens day free, you could be part of our artful and titillating tableaux.  Perfect bodies are admired but not required - all ages, genders, body types, etc. have a place in our creative vision!  Roles include both fully dressed Victorian men and women, as well as imaginative creatures of history, myth, and art.  We're also looking for a youngish female for the minor speaking role of 'Mary, the Maid.'  

Auditions will be held on Saturday, October 29, at Oceana High School, immediately after the last workshop.  All rehearsals will be held during workshop/rehearsal times at Oceana and the Cow Palace, except for one dress rehearsal at the Cow Palace on the evening of November 15.  

Contact: Diana Young (         

Reminder: Workshop Dates & Locations


The 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 workshops. 

The 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.
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Contact Information
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
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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, Red Barn Productions,PO Box 1768, Novato, CA 94948
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