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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Notes from your Missive Maven:

Workshops begin at 10AM this Saturday October 29th at Oceana High School in Pacifica! 
We may have rain on Sunday, so please plan accordingly.

The following files have been added or updated on the missive site:
Workshop Schedule (for the first two weekends)
Workshop Descriptions
Oceana 2016 Workshop Map

*Important* - please also read the new Participant Policy Handbook referenced below.

Please continue to check for changes as life has a habit of happening. Please see more information below and please read the missives completely before asking questions. 


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

Updated Information on the Missive Site


Dickens 2016 - Participant Policy Handbook

(from Kevin Patterson)
We have a new Participant Policy Handbook.  It has been posted to the Missives Page for your convenience.  Hard copies will also be available at the workshop registration desk and the Pass house on-site.  

As a participant, you are expected to read the handbook and sign that you have received a copy (electronic or hard copy) when you pick up your gate pass.

Red Barn Productions is committed to fairness and openness in all our dealings, as well as to providing a safe and healthy environment for performers, workers, vendors and visitors.  We have designed the Handbook to facilitate the enactment of these principles and to better acquaint you with our general policies/practices. 

Thank you in advance for taking the time to read it,


Netflix and Chill Your Dickens(ish) ~ Part Three

(from Therese Porter) 
To help you enjoyably get your Victorian bearings, assist your research (you're not just watching something, you're working on your research!) and help you craft your performance, 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 is an adaptation of one of Dicken's colleagues, George Eliot: "
Middlemarch" (1994, 4 episodes
Eliot's sprawling study of life in a small English country town is full of splendid characters that range through the classes and express the human condition in all its splendor (as well as the  not so splendiferous). The pursuit of love and money, the perils of  ambition, and the age old battle between tradition and innovation are depicted  through several interwoven storylines. The drama spreads itself out among beautiful settings, and the details of those class distinctions make for fascinating viewing. Eliot's careful and sensitive observations on the inner life and inter-relationships of her characters are engagingly enacted.
As is so often the case, a dazzling cohort of fine British character actors including a young and dishy Rufus Sewell, bring the populace of Middlemarch to vivid, gripping life.

Needed: Characters from The Other Books

(from Therese Porter and Rydell Downward))
Over the course of the past several Missives we have mentioned how our merry band roams the streets of London infusing the proceedings with zesty Dickensian ambience. If you hear the call of Our Author, please come audition! 
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. 
Dickens' 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 in a big, bold Dickensian fashion.  

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 

Saturday and Sunday (10/29 & 30) 2:30 - 3:30, Room 114
If 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 free-form improvisation
You can direct questions to

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 -

Mummer Auditions

(from Will Rontani)

Mr. Brown's Mummers is looking for a few male company members to dance and play with us.  Need to be comfortable with Cockney and nimble on your feet.  Need not to be a singer or musician.  Rehearsals will be at Sunday workshops.  Call or email for more details.

If interested contact Will Rontani -

Costers Are Casting

(from Mimi Walker)

Are you an actor who is fearless (or would you like to learn to be)?  The Costermongers of Dickens Christmas Fair are known for taking terrified non-actors and turning them into enthusiastic performers.  We are looking for additional performers to join us this year at DCF 2014.  We are a very supportive company and accept both brand new/inexperienced, as well as experienced performers, all ages, all genders, all ethnicities.  We promise to help the new and stretch the experienced.  We have been described as "guerilla theater" which means we do short improvised interactions with as many patrons as possible over the course of the day, no memorizing necessary, although if it works for you we welcome it.  I can say from personal experience,  we have an absolute blast every year.  Please contact our new director Mimi Walker at for more information or just come audition with us after the scheduled workshops in October/November (Costume classroom at workshops).

Thank you,

Mimi Walker, Director
DCF 2016 Costermongers 

Reminder: Performer Requirements (Includes Registration Link)

Before workshops, please  register online at:
The Password: Registration@DCF2016

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.  

At Workshops: 
What you'll need to get your pass
Once you have taken your workshops 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. Here's the checklist of what you'll need:

#1 A completed, printed Eventbrite receipt/registration form with:
#2 Your director or booth owner's signature
#3 Costume Approval from the official costume department
#4 Sign off's from the appropriate number of workshop teachers
#5 (Optional) The Cow Palace offers parking passes to Fair participants at a discounted rate of $30, these will be available at workshops.

Age specifications:
          0 -  4   No registration form needed
          5 -17   Registration form, with all appropriate signatures and approvals, plus guardian information.
        18 - up Registration form, with all appropriate signatures and approvals.

Special Notes: Your name must be on a cast list at the office and your director must have signed your registration form before your pass will be issued. Directors will only sign registration forms after all appropriate workshop classes and costume approval have been completed.

Reminder: Directions to Oceana High School   
401 Paloma Ave, Pacific, CA 94044

You can find a Google map here.

From the East Bay
After the crossing the Bay Bridge, follow signs to 101 south
After passing Cesar Chavez exit merge to the right lane
At the Hwy 101/Hwy280 split, take Hwy 280 on the right
Take the Hwy 1 South exit
As you come down the hill into Pacifica, take Paloma offramp (2nd exit)
Turn left at the stop sign, onto Paloma
As you come to the next stop, you will see a sign directing you to parking.
From the North Bay and San Francisco
(After crossing the GG Bridge)
Take 19th Avenue south, which will merge into Hwy 280 south
Take the Hwy 1 South exit
As you come down the hill into Pacifica, take Paloma offramp (2nd exit)
Turn left at the stop sign, onto Paloma
As you come to the next stop, you will see a sign directing you to parking.
From the South Bay and Peninsula
Take Hwy 101 North
After passing the airport, take the 380 connection to 280 North
Take the Hwy 1 South/Pacifica exit
As you go up the hill stay in the left lanes
After coming down the hill into Pacifica take the second exit (Paloma)
Turn left at the stop sign (onto Paloma)
At the next stop sign look for the Workshop Parking sign.
From the South Using Hwy 1:
Take Hwy 1 north
Take the Oceana Blvd exit
Continue on Oceana
When you come to Oceana and Paloma Avenues you will see a sign for parking.

Reminder: Public Transportation to Workshops 

(Many thanks to Stephen Johnson)

For the workshops in Pacifica Take BART to Daly City
Get on the Sam Trans Bus 110 Southbound (to Linda Mar Park & Ride)
Saturday schedule: get on at 8:57 am

Sunday schedule: get on at 8:27
Get off at the corner of Oceana & Paloma
Return: Sat. 4:20 pm or 5:20 pm Sun. 4:50 pm
for schedules go to

Alternate route
Take BART to Colma
Get on the Sam Trans Bus 112 Southbound (to Linda Mar Park & Ride)
Saturday Schedule: get on at 9:28 am
Sunday schedule: get on 8:57 am
Get off at Paloma
Return: Sat 4:48 pm or 5:48pm Sun 4:19 pm or 5:19 pm
for schedules go to


Reminder: Facebook Ride Sharing Group 

There is a Dickens Fair ride sharing group at 

If you need a ride to the fair or workshops, you can post there. Even better, if you can offer a ride, please post there! Thanks!   
Quick Links...
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Website
Dickens Fair Performer Page
Cat's Missive Page
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Facebook page
Dickens Fair Twitter
Join the Public Email List
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
Join Our Mailing List
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, Red Barn Productions, PO Box 1768, Novato, CA 94948
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