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Dickens Christmas Fair 2006 October Missive #5 - Revised Workshop Schedule

(sent November 2nd, 2006)


In This Missive:
Changes in the Workshop Schedule
Completing Your Workshops
Remember The Morning Meeting!
Guy Fawkes Day: Bonfire Night
Assistance with Toys for Tots
Casting Three Important Characters from Oliver Twist
Volunteer Stage Crew Needed - Naughty French Postcards
Wanting to Work in a Booth?
Off-Site Dickens Players Needed
Who The Heck Are These People? (Staff List)

Changes in the Workshop Schedule
Yes Virginia life happened... there is a new workshop schedule attached, with a revision date of October 31st. Please make sure you use the proper one. There will also be copies at workshops, but they won't have the workshops highlighted in yellow, like these do.


Completing Your Workshops
We have many interesting classes for you all to take, but if you have limited time to take all of your workshops, please get to your required classes early, as it is possible for them to fill up. There are extra language classes on the first Sunday to help make sure you can get in all your requirements.


Remember The Morning Meeting!
The first morning of workshops, 10:00AM Saturday November 4th, where workshop leaders and directors will be introduced. It will be in the multi-purpose room and will take the place of the first workshop period. There will also be a big meeting at 10:00AM on dress rehearsal day at the Cow Palace. Your attendance is seriously requested at both of these meetings.


Guy Fawkes Day: Bonfire Night
Do you know your British history? We won't all know the complete history of Britain, but this is a good story.  

November 5th marks the anniversary of the Gunpowder Plot, a conspiracy to blow up the English Parliament and King James I (successor to Queen Elizabeth I) in 1605, the day set for the king to open Parliament. The anniversary was named after Guy Fawkes, the most famous of the conspirators who was captured in the basement of the British Parliament, with 36 barrels of gunpowder. The reason for the plot? Remember your Renaissance Faire history and the tumult about Protestant vs. Catholic? Starting with Henry the VIII, the Tudor reigns bounced back and forth between Protestant and Catholic, and many were executed on both sides of the religious debate. James, (the son of Mary Queen of Scots, who succeeded to the English crown by virtue of his descent from Margaret Tudor, daughter of Henry VII) had given the Catholics a private promise that he would stop the persecutions if he became King, but this did not happen. The conspiracy was brought to light through a mysterious letter received by Lord Monteagle, on October 26, urging him not to attend Parliament on the opening day.

Ever since then, on November 5, the British have celebrated his capture and execution by burning an effigy (model) of Guy Fawkes on bonfires around England.

All this said, there will be no smoking (or bonfires) at the workshops...


Assistance with Toys for Tots
Hello you Dickens folk!  As you well know Toys for Tots will return to the Dickens Fair this year to collect toys and donations for needy children. We have a special request that if fulfilled will help facilitate a more successful run for the charity. The Marines have a shortage of personnel due to deployment and, sadly, funeral ceremonies. We are asking for volunteers to work one 2 hour shift at the donation barrels one time during the run. Those people who are interested should e-mail Kathy@redbarnproductions.org. Your time is valuable, and greatly appreciated.

Thank you,
Kathy Kingman


Casting Three Important Characters from Oliver Twist
(from Gwen Warfield)
Bill Sikes - Bill Sikes is a right old bad 'un...  He's a house cracker with a heart of ... not gold so much as a toxic lump of coal.  He is a Cockney character with a bad temper, who deals with only the lowest of the low of Dicken's society.  His glorious end involves murder and a murderous, rioting crowd, and what's more fun than that? This is a very demanding, but very rewarding role.  The actor must be prepared for being a villain all day, and understand the delicate line between "story" violence, and the wonderful *implication* of terror that we actors are able to provide.  Improv skills a plus.

Nancy - The girl of the worst guy in town, she is a gem in the rough. She is the savior of the young hero Oliver Twist, who walks the streets of lower London with a mix of shame and pride.  She starts her day with a spring in her step and ends her day dead, with style.  Improv skills a plus.

Fang: Looking for a barrister for a short, fun bit.  Oliver Twist gets caught by the police, and Fang tries his case...  The book paints Fang's scene in a nearly Monty-Python-esk tone, full of wonderful subtle humor.  The judge is a delightful blow-hard who rates being a judge more important than seeing the truth in the scene before him.  Ability to huff and puff a plus.  Playing this role would not stop the actor from doing other things during the day as the scene is less than an hour of the day including costume change.

Reminder from Cat: Further book character auditions will start at 2:30PM on Saturday. If you would like to audition for one of these roles, or the ones listed in previous missives, please sign up for a time at Area 51 on Saturday.


Volunteer Stage Crew Needed - Naughty French Postcards
 (from Diana Young)
Naughty French Postcards needs some backstage crew members who can keep focused on doing the job.  Props need to get on and off stage smoothly and quickly.  Interested parties please apply at Postcards auditions, 2:30 PM on Saturday or Sunday.  Ask for Ted Miller or Diana Young.


Wanting to Work in a Booth?
I have had queries from folks wishing to work in a booth at the Dickens Fair. For this you would need to speak to the individual booth owners. Some of them come out to workshops, but the best method is to go to stake out at the Cow Palace on November 11th and search out and speak with the individual booth owners there. There will also have a place for the vendors to put up help wanted signs at office trailer in the breezeway.


Off-Site Dickens Players Needed
Help us promote the Fair!  We need a group of Dickens characters to pass out tickets and advertising flyers at other events.  Most of these events will be on weekends while the Dickens Fair is going on.  Potential participants would need to leave the fair for a minimum of 4 to 5 hours at a time on Friday evening, and three or four Saturdays and Sundays.   We would be most honored if you were in your finest Dickens dress and character however street clothes will suffice if you prefer. The rate of pay for these events is $14-16 per hour. The dates are as follows:

November 18th & 19th                               4 workers
November 24th, 25th and 26th                6-7 workers
December 2nd & 3rd                                 4 workers
December 9th & 10th                                4 workers
 
Flyer pass out help is needed for other events in January and February as well! 
Please contact Shannon Damnavits at (415) 259-4056 or online at: e4shannon@gmail.com


Who The Heck Are These People? (Staff List)
You asked for it, here it is, a listing of the Dickens Fair staff. Some of them will be introduced onstage at workshops this weekend, so you will be able to attach faces to the names. I have included email addresses for some folks you may need to get in touch with, but if you need to contact them, please make sure your questions are clear and addressed to the right department.

Cat Taylor: Entertainment Director and Missive Maven
<cat@redbarnproductions.org> or <missives@redbarnproductions.org>
Robert Young: Street Theatre and Special Performance Director, Mr. Charles Dickens
<robert@redbarnproductions.org>
Kevin Patterson: Executive Director
<kevin@redbarnproductions.org>
Leslie Patterson: Assistant Director, Vendor Coordinator and Event Finance
<vendors@redbarnproductions.org>
Mark Solum: Production, Finance and Operations Manager
<mark@redbarnproductions.org>
Kathy Kingman: Costume Designer and Special Promotions
<kathy@redbarnproductions.org>
Alexandria Volk: Costume Director
Shannon Wood-Damnavits: Marketing Director
<e4shannon@gmail.com>
Denise Lamott : Publicist, Media Relations
<lamoore1@verizon.net >
Carol Goodman: Beverage and Catering Director
<beverage@redbarnproductions.org>
Lori Wilson: Volunteer Coordinator, Event Finance Assistant
<faireone@att.net>
Amanda Sanow: Graphic Design
Ed Herny: Power and Lights
Rory Alden: Master Carpenter
Steven Sweet: Plumbing
Kelly Clark: Designer
Jim and Blue Davis: Draperies
Sondra Hess: Security Supervisor
Nell Blackwell: Sign Stylist





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