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Dickens Christmas Fair 2006 October Missive #3
(sent October 26th, 2006)

Hello everyone,

There will actually be three missives this week, since there is so much information. This one contains general information as well as some audition notices.

The second one will be the Great Dickens Christmas Fair Participant Publicity Information Sheet from Denise Lamott our publicity person. Do you have an interesting story to tell? Can you help us by being really fascinating for local publicity purposes? Please fill out the form and return to Denise at

The third will have the workshop/rehearsal schedule and descriptions. This schedule, like the stage schedule, is very complex and I'm still in the process of making all the pieces fit. Hopefully this will go out late this evening or early tomorrow, once I hear back from folks as to whether all the pieces fit.

In This Missive:
An Amusing Anecdote
Madame Kathryn’s Costume Coalition and Charm School
Further Book Character Auditions - New Parts Available!
Naughty French Postcards Casting Call
Volunteer for Comp Tickets
Thoughts on The Telegraph Booth
Ride Share to Dickens
Turkey Legs Will Never Be The Same
Ye Gaskell Victorian Costume Ball on Saturday, October 28th
PEERS' 13th Annual Le Bal des Vampires on November 4th

An Amusing Anecdote
An amusing anecdote from Andy Petit : A friend of mine e-mailed me to tell me he heard one of our Dickensian folk chatting up the Fair to Greg and Fernando on Energy 92.7 FM.  He said she was trying to get them to talk "British". The part that made me laugh is he lives in New York!  He was listening to them on line.  So the word about the Dickens Fair is reaching far and wide!

Madame Kathryn’s Costume Coalition and Charm School
(From Kathy Kingman)
Thursday November the 2nd we will have our first official meeting of Madame Kathryn’s Costume Coalition and Charm School.

From 7pm until 10pm we will work on altering and fitting patterns to your body. Please bring your pattern and throw away material like muslin in order to fit your dress/ jacket. Because we have a strict time restraint we will not be offering help on corsets. Sorry! Corsetry is a whole other animal and we may get into it earlier next year but not so close to the fair. If you have already begun your costume (as you should have you naughty monkeys!) then please bring what you have done and your pattern. DO NOT FORGET THE NESSESSARY UNDERCLOTHES/PINNINGS. Your dress will not fit otherwise.

The location has been generously donated by the fabulous Ms. Lynn Combs of braiding booth fame. It will be held in Vallejo Directions will be supplied upon reservation of space for the class. Seating is limited so email to get in!

The second class will be held on Tuesday November 7 In Richmond located near a BART station, there are still no volunteers for a class in the city so any takers please step up quick! This class will also be held at 7pm.

And finally our “Omigosh-we-open-next-week-and-my-costume’s-not-done!” class will be held in Oakland on Thursday Nov 16.

Remember, you do not get the directions until you contact us at

Thank You!
The Costume Mavens

Further Book Character Auditions - New Parts Available!
There will be further book character auditions starting at 2:30PM on the first day of workshops. If you would like to audition for one of these roles, please sign up for a time by emailing 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, and be prepared to improvise as that character.)
3. Your first, second and third choice of audition time. 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.

Below are some juicy character parts most especially desired. We may have you read for other parts as well, as we just love matching up the right performer with the right part.

Christmas Carol
Peter Cratchit
Henriette's friend

Oliver Twist
Bill Sikes

Great Expectations
Herbert Pocket

Nicholas Nickleby
Miss La Creevy
Miss Knag
The Brothers Cheeryble
Frank Cheeryble

David Copperfeld
Betsy Trotwood
James Steerforth
Rosa Dartle

Our Mutual Friend
John Harmon/John Rokesmith
Bella Wilfer
Charley Hexam
Bradley Headstone

Naughty French Postcards Casting Call
(from Diana Young)
We will be auditioning men and women for the remaining roles in our saucy show on the first day of Workshops, November 4, at 2:30 PM. 

In particular we are looking for men who exhibit a nicely toned physique to appear as works of art in recreations of famous paintings and sculpture.  The speaking role of “Mary, the maid” is also open.  This should be a pert young lady who can make a large impression in a small role.

Diana Young, Director
Naughty French Postcards

Volunteer for Comp Tickets
(from Lori Wilson)
Do you want comp tickets? Do you want friends and family to come out and play for free? Well, have I got a deal for you! 2 comp tickets are yours for the low, low price of one 4-hour shift at the front gate, taking tickets!

The team of volunteers meeting, greeting, and taking customer's tickets is an important, yet sometimes overlooked part of the Fair. We are currently low in costume-approved, volunteer staff at the front gate and are in need of more people to help out.  If you are interested, we would be glad to shamelessly bribe you by  giving you 2 complimentary tickets for each 4 hours worked.

For further details, email me at
Lori Wilson

Thoughts on The Telegraph Booth
(from Karen Porter)
Please remember how difficult a job it is to find 1 particular person in the crowds and noise during Faire.  Be patient and helpful if you can. 
Timed Telegrams:
If you want a telegram delivered at a particular time we will do our best.  All telegrams are sent out at least 3 times before they are posted on the 'Wall of Shame'.
Tips are not required but if you feel that a particular person did a great job feel free to reward them.  Any tips are for them and don't go into the general fund.  Coins look best, so anything from $.25 up.  As I said, not reguired but appreciated for a job well done.  Tips are also appreciated by the caligraphers if you have a lengthy or complicated missive.
If you have a problem with one of the messengers or staff please let me know.  Feel free to let them know if they are intruding into a set bit or otherwise interfering with the general show.  They sometimes get overzealous in finding their quarry.  Working together we con head off problems before they get out of hand.
If you have any questions or problems please let me know at
 Karen Porter

Ride Share to Dickens
(from Bevan Iredell)
Post your ability to drive fellow Dickensians to the The Great Dickens Christmas Fair.
Post your ability to host a house sleep over for fellow Dickensians on the weekends.

Turkey Legs Will Never Be The Same
(from Venta Leon)
Our irascible friend Stan Goold, for decades the proprietor of Turkey Legs, truly the icon food item at the Faire, passed away gently and quietly last week after many months of failing health. According to his daughter, who asked us to help spread the news to his friends, there will be a wake in a couple of weeks.  I will get word out when I know the details..

Stan was famous for telling terrible jokes, real groaners, and for playing Dixieland jazz on the stereo real loud at the breakfast counter, and for accosting hapless visitors in the street with his gigantic turkey-leg prop (which I think was made for him by Hippie Jim).  He had a fabulous garden at home and always brought lots of great vegetables & fruit (and seeds) to share with his friends and neighbors at faire.  In total Stan fashion, his request for his remains was to have his ashes scattered in their compost.

There will be great pumpkins next year.


Ye Gaskell Victorian Costume Ball on Saturday, October 28th
(from Frank Davis)
Dress up and dance until Midnight at the Victorian Costume Ball, hosted by Ye Gaskell Occasional Dance Society. It¹s at Oakland¹s Scottish Rite Center, 1547 Lakeside Drive. (Back parking lot is on Madison Sreet.) The Brassworks
plays 8:30pm-12:00. Elegant Victorian period attire as well as modern formal & semi-formal attire are welcome. Gaskells favorites include waltzes, polkas, mazurkas, schottisches, Sir Roger de Coverley and The Congress of
$20 Admission includes a complimentary dance lesson at 7:40, free punch & potluck fingerfood. (Do bring food to share!) Also, for those desiring it, a Dance Class is offered in the same ballroom, from 3:45 to 6:15 p.m., for a separate $10 admission.
For more info visit

PEERS' 13th Annual Le Bal des Vampires on November 4th
(from Cathleen Myers)
After workshops on Saturday, November 4, get some extra pre-Dickens dance practice in at PEERS' 13th Annual Le Bal des Vampires at the beautiful and historic Alameda Elks Lodge at 2255 Santa Clara Avenue in Alameda. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.and dancing continues until midnight. This year there will be dancing on two floors: formal Victorian and vintage ballroom dancing to Fezziwigs' own band, Bangers & Mash, in the upstairs ballroom; and a Gothic disco with DJ's Robyn Scott Forbes and Ariyana in the lodge's Ratskellar. Special intermission performance by Le Theatre des Vampires. Period costume, vintage attire, or modern evening dress is admired, not required. Tickets are $17.50 in advance (by Oct. 28); $25 at the door For more information, please see our website, email or call (510) 522-1731.
Best regards,
Cathleen Myers

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