Sent  11/2/17
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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2017 - November Missive #1
Notes from your Missive Maven:
It looks like it going to rain this weekend, so please dress appropriately. Some of the workshop vendors may be moving inside the cafeteria, so if you can't find them outside, look for them there.

The schedule for the third weekend of workshops is now on the missive page. It currently only has the classes, the rehearsal schedule is still being finalized, so please check back for an updated schedule.

I also understand there's a big rally scheduled for Union Square Saturday at 3:00, just an FYI re traffic. 


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

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Cat Taylor
Entertainment Director & Missive Maven
In This Missive

Thanks from Steve Johnson & Oceana

Dear Participants, 

Thank you for your conscientious efforts to keep the school grounds and classrooms clean. Everything looked pretty tidy as we did the evening sweep through the school. Each night the security team and I re-organize the desks, empty the wastebaskets, shut the windows, and pick up any litter on the grounds. I am pleased to report that you really made our job easier last weekend by picking up after yourselves. 

You were also very generous with your donations to the Oceana School Fund - this weekend you donated $559.28. If those of you who haven't yet donated could contribute a dollar or so we might reach our goal of matching last year's total of over $1,000, which went to much needed science equipment, the school garden, and teacher projects. 
Thank you for your commitment to education and to keeping up our good standing with Oceana High School.

Steve J

(from Liz Martin)

The Costume Department would like to thank all of you who came and got their costume approved/checked in with FasTrak this past weekend. From our end, everything seemed to run smoothly and quickly.

For the third weekend of workshops, we move to the Cow Palace. Our tentative plan is to do approvals in the annex. Please keep your eyes on the missive for any and all pertinent information.

(from Mark Solum)

Workshops at Oceana 9am-5pm
Workshops at Cow Palace 9-6pm
Opening weekend 7am-4pm
Rest of the weekends 8am-4pm

(from Juanita Watkins)

New (or not-so-new) and looking for your role? Share the magic of the Holiday Season with our guests! Christmas Keepers is a wonderful introduction and a way to learn the ins and out of The Great Dickens Christmas Fair - come play with us! 

We're ticket takers and tour guides, merry paraders, spreaders of good cheer - and valuable information. 
Teach while learning about the popular books of Charles Dickens as they're enacted all around us throughout the Fair. 

Contact Juanita Watkins at

Juanita Watkins,
Director, Christmas Keepers

(from Diana Young)

Fancy a brief appearance or two on stage with no memorization required?  Our long-running comedic romp returns this year with a reflection on women through time, from the stone age to the modern (Victorian) era.  Join a stunning tableau cast of characters for the last two hours of the day.  Dickens After Dark is an adventure!  

Contact Saucy French Postcards Director, Diana Young on Facebook (Diana B. Young), or at second weekend workshops, room 211, 3 PM, both days.  (Over 18 only.)

Vendor Stake-Out is This Weekend

(from the Vendor Coordinator)

There are many paid,  full and part time positions at various merchant booths throughout the Fair available.

Stake-out begins this Saturday at the Cow Palace.  There will be a Help Wanted posting Board in the Green Room.  Stop by the Cow Palace and peruse the board and walk the venue to speak with the merchants.

For more information go online to:

Fiddles 'N' Such Seeks Violin Player/Teacher

(from Steve Joynes)

Fiddles 'N' Such, a merchant at the Dickens Fair, is looking for a violin teacher/player to work selected weekends in the booth.  Should be capable of sizing up instruments for students, giving quick lessons and tips, be friendly, and able to converse about music related subjects. A multi-instrumentalist would be a plus. We sell all stringed instruments and more. 

Interested parties should contact Steve Joynes at

Mr. Punch's Pasta and Maclaren's Cookies & Milk are Now Hiring

Please contact Michael Patterson at for details

Soak Up Some Dickensian Goodness with The Book That Started It All!

(from Therese Porter)

Get yourself in the spirit by enjoying a version of "A Christmas Carol" - The Book that started it all! While Our Author certainly didn't invent Christmas, so much of how we celebrate the season (not to mention inspiring what we do at the Cow Palace) draws from this tightly plotted, exquisitely paced little novella written in a white heat of inspiration over a just a few weeks. Consider (re)reading it (or getting Patrick Stewart to do the lip work in his excellent audio book version).

The Book has been adapted quite a lot for stage and screen. There are so many versions, and while everyone has their favourites, almost every variant reflects a bit of the wonder and delight the book elicits. (and of course, there is a movie coming out called "The Man Who Invented Christmas" that chronicles Dickens creative ferment in writing the book; fun fact - there is also a marvelous book by that name).

What follows are a few of the popular and readily available versions on film.

One of the classics is the 1951 version ( with Alistair Sim as Scrooge. It is full of wonderful touches and solid performances. Scrooge's Redemption is especially good.

The 1984 version features George C. Scott as Scrooge and David Warner as Bob Cratchit along with a really fine cast (IMDB does the job nicely. (Spoiler alert - the cheesy Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come doesn't mar things too much).

The version starring Patrick Stewart (1999 has some really nice touches, good costumes and solid casting. Briskly paced, and relatively true to the book (and yet again, a dippy Christmas YTC is a distraction).

"Scrooge," starring Albert Finney is a musical (1970 and while there are some fine elements of the story illustrated, not all of the production numbers work (that said, "Thank You Very Much" is one of the most strangely enchanting production numbers in the history of cinema.) The street scenes are very engaging, and convey something of what we are trying to do (not unlike those in "Oliver!").

The Muppets' version (1992 IMDB is  witty and charming,  and mostly adheres to the story , winding up  as a rather satisfactory iteration. Bonus! Michael Caine as Scrooge. 

Although parts of the animated version by Disney (2009  with Jim Carey voicing Scrooge seem like a prototype for a Christmas theme ride, many of the elements work really well and the visuals are frequently stunning.

There are certainly are other versions - explore!

Lyrics for God Save the Queen & Rule Britannia!

(with notes from Dave Batzloff)

God Save the Queen:
God save our gracious Queen, 
Long live our noble Queen, 
God save the Queen.

Send her victorious,
Happy and glorious, 
Long to reign over us: 
God save the Queen.

God Save the Queen, besides being our national anthem, is a prayer. 
It is sung while standing upright, hands at your side, 
Gentlemen with their hats off.

Rule Britannia:
When Britain first, at heaven's command,
Arose from out the azure main,
Arose, arose, arose from out the azure main,
This was the charter, the charter of the land,
And guardian angels sang this strain:

Rule Britannia!
Britannia rule the waves,
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.
Rule Britannia!
Britannia rule the waves,
Britons never, never, never shall be slaves.

Rule Britannia is not the national anthem, standing still is not required
it goes quite well with flag waving, etc.
also notice it is RULE Britannia, it is a command from the angels to rule the waves.

Reminder: Daylight Savings Time Ends This Sunday, November 5th

We get an extra hour of sleep this Saturday night - yea!

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 

Just a reminder that 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!   

Reminder: Online Participant Registration

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.  (Note that a limited number of forms will be available to be filled out at workshops, but doing so online greatly expedites the process.)

Please also note that there is a place for adults to acknowledge that you have read and understood the 
Participant Handbook. It is on the missive site at:

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@DCF2017

Please get registered soon and we will see you October 28th at workshops!

Reminder: The Missive Page

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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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