The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2016 - November Missive #1
Notes from your Missive Maven:
Yes, it's November, how did that happen?
Some minor changes to the workshop schedule and an added class.
There is a new schedule available on the missive site, but there will not be new printed schedules the weekend.
We are at Oceana High School one more weekend before moving to the Cow Palace.
Also a report card on the use of the school and some other things of interest, including this week's time change.
Please remember to contact the folks referenced in each notice above, rather than hitting "reply".
Entertainment Director, Missive & Social Media Maven
|In This Missive|
|Improv I - A Beginner's Improvisation Class: Offered 2nd Weekend|
|Reminder: Daylight Savings Time Ends This Saturday Night|
|Oceana This Weekend, Cow Palace Next Weekend|
|Oceana Report Card|
|Useful! Fun! Workshops are Great!|
|Netflix and Chill Your Dickens!|
|God Bless Christmas Keepers! Join Us!|
|Sonoma Tintype Returns to the Annex|
|Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe is looking for you!|
Brown's Fine Coffee and Tea open for service, including breakfast and
gluten-free vegan lunch on dress rehearsal Sunday, November 13th|
|Call for the London Bulletin|
|Reminder: Dickens 2016 - Participant Policy Handbook|
|Reminder: Facebook Ride Sharing Group|
Improv I - A Beginner's Improvisation Class: Offered 2nd Weekend
(from Robert Young)
Improv I - A Beginner's Improvisation Class: offered 2nd weekend.
taught by Elizabeth Schluntz (our Mrs. Fezziwig)
Ana Elizando couldn't teach her Impov I class this year, it didn't
occur to us that not one of our many acting classes taught beginning
improv skills. Thanks to Kaellie Clein-Cunningham, our director of the
SCUM, for checking them all out and letting us know!
We will be
offering a beginning Improv class on both Saturday and Sunday of
weekend 2 at Oceana High School - Room 212, 2nd period both days. It
won't be on the printed schedule, but it is on the download schedule on
the missive site. And many thanks to Elizabeth Schluntz for offering to
(Reminder from Cat -
There is a new schedule available on the missive site, there will not be new printed schedules the weekend.)
Reminder: Daylight Savings Time Ends This Saturday Night
Spring forward, fall back, which means we get an extra hour of sleep Saturday night.
Oceana This Weekend, Cow Palace Next Weekend
Stakeout for the vendors is this Saturday November 5th at the Cow Palace.
Please do not go to the Cow Palace until dress rehearsal weekend unless
you are building a booth or environmental area, as we have limited
build time and there will be much construction equipment, power tools,
Oceana Report Card
(from Steve Johnson)
have some good news and some bad news to report about our use of the
school last weekend. In one of the classrooms the teacher's supplies
were used and papers were moved around, which upset that classroom's
teacher. So next weekend all workshops formerly held in Room 208
(Children/Youth/Oliver) will be moved to Room 105, and those in 105
(Vocal Projection/Caroling) will be moved to 208. I have sent a message
of apology to the affected teacher and will replace her supplies.
Such incidents may harm our chance of returning next year.
good news is that the rest of the school was left tidy, and trash
and recycling were put in receptacles. And a big thank you for
your generosity - you donated $640 for the Oceana Fund, which will go
towards the school's garden project and science program. For those of
you coming next weekend, I hope you can come close to matching those
who have already contributed.
Here are ways you can help us next weekend:
Please leave the classroom at 5:30 -- the longer you linger past 5:30
the longer you keep the staff from cleaning and checking the rooms
There are cans for both trash and recycling - please take the time to
separate them when dropping them off so we don't have to
3) Please no food or drinks in the classrooms
If you do any painting of sets, please put newspapers down on the floor
(some will be available in the office) and wash brushes in the
Dickens Fair School Liaison
Useful! Fun! Workshops are Great!
An exhortation to avail oneself of the cornucopia of theatrical refulgence that comprise our workshop offerings
(from Therese Porter)
For new folks they are a mysterious requirement. Many of the more grizzled and battle-hardened among us
treat them as some sort of necessary evil. However, workshops afford a
wonderful chance to acquire a broad array of theatrical and historical
information in a fun and informal environment. The subjects presented
are wide-ranging, and as with a lot of theatrical training, the
benefits extend far off the stage and into ordinary life. If nothing
else the historical stuff will keep you stocked with an astonishing
array of conversational material, and the theatrical training can
help you with job interviews, crisis management and even dating skills.
pulling together an astonishingly huge and varied show in an impossibly
short period of time. Time spent in workshops is as valuable as
rehearsal time in polishing our presentations. Even
if you think you know everything you need, you can always learn more.
Even the most talented and experienced folks need a brush up of their
skills and time spent learning is never time wasted. Some
extraordinarily talented folks are presenting valuable lessons for
FREE. Enjoy the process! Take as many workshops as you body and brain
Netflix and Chill Your Dickens! ~ Part Four
(from Therese Porter)
getting close to London time, and in addition to working on Dickens
Fair preparation, you are probably feeling the need for some ways to
relax. Look no further than a viewing of a Dickens adaptation! Relaxing
Enjoy the period details and the terrific characterization
This week's suggested viewing is an adaptation of Dicken's "Bleak House" (1985, 8 episodes http://imdb.to/2e7rcwD - there is a more recent adaptation but while it has many virtues it takes an awful lot of liberties with the book
Masterpiece Theatre adaptation has aged well as a tightly crafted and
careful rendering of Dickens' labyrinthine epic, with splendid
characterisations in even the smallest roles. The impenetrable fog and
pervasive dirt of London are inescapable in this adaptation, which
brings a gritty veracity to the story set in London. The scenes in the
countryside and manor houses are almost like palate cleansers in their
richly detailed beauty before returning us to the dark and
multi-layered story that plays out in the city.
Rigg, Deneholm Elliot, Peter Vaughn join a sprawling cast of superb
British actors who enrich the proceedings with finely honed
interpretations of some of Dickens' most intriguing characters.
fast paced story includes convoluted multi-generational secrets, greed,
despair, intrigue, murder, and spontaneous human combustion! Something
God Bless Christmas Keepers! Join Us!
(from Juanita Watkins and Therese Porter)
Christmas Keepers is a group for people new to the Fair to get a feel
for how Dickens Fair operates, as well as supporting the Fair through
several practical and performance based endeavours.
Fair is a first and foremost a show, and participants are its
performers. Those accepted into the Christmas Keepers cast will train
and work symbiotically with the Other Books cast, the group portraying
characters from Dickens' novels and working interactively in the
streets. Under the direction of Juanita Watkins (the "Questions Answered"
lady) Christmas Keepers will engage in a variety of fun and interesting
activities that will greatly enhance our visitors experience of the
principal and most important part of the Christmas Keepers work at
Dickens Fair is to take tickets and greet our guests. This is an
important service to the Fair and great training for the interactive,
immersive theatre that we do, as well as a terrific "first touch" for
our incoming guests.
With Juanita's guidance Keepers who wish to will be able to "curate" our guests' experience by answering questions (from "Where is to the loo?" to "Who is that young lady with the crown and the enormous escort?"
And so much more!). Keepers will learn about the Fair, its characters,
its shows and attractions, and the entire range of excitement on offer
so as to best share that rich panoply.
Keepers will also be expected to participate in the parades - filling
out their numbers and helping to generate interest and enthusiasm
amongst the audience. When not performing those functions, Keepers will be spreading Dickensian cheer throughout the Fair.
Christmas Keepers will be expected to draw their character from
Dickens' works, and will be expected to embody that character
physically and linguistically. As with all street characters,
participants will be expected to provide their own, Fair-approvable
If you are interested in becoming a Christmas Keeper, report to the area in front of Room 115 after the end of workshops on Saturday and Sunday.
Sonoma Tintype Returns to the Annex
(from Bruce Morton)
Sonoma Tintype will be taking original Tintypes (for participants only) at the Performers Annex on Saturdaysstarting
Nov.19th. We should be ready by 10:00 am. If interested please try to
stop by on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd Saturday to avoid the rush. A 4 x 5 is
$40.00 and a 5 x 7 is $60.00.
Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe is looking for you!
(from Sue Honor)
If you can spare 4 or more hours per day we have paid positions. We have openings for servers, to work in the kitchen or our Shoppe.
Experience preferred, but not required. Flexible schedule.
Brown's Fine Coffee and Tea open for service, including breakfast and
gluten-free vegan lunch on dress rehearsal Sunday, November 13th
(from Kristi and Jeremy McMaster)
dress rehearsal weekend, Come by for a hot cup of freshly roasted
Mullah's Blend coffee, or Mullah's Spicy Chai, organic tea, or hot
cocoa. Grab a sweet snack or apple/cheese/croissant platter. We also
offer gluten-free vegan sweets. For Sunday of dress rehearsal weekend
only, visit Mr. Brown's for a Mullah Mush and wienie breakfast. Also on
Sunday of DRW only, try out our delicious, nourishing gluten-free vegan
lunch, featuring Thai Pumpkin Curry on Jasmine Rice. We look forward to
seeing you all soon! :)
Sincerely, Kristi and Jeremy McMaster Mr. Brown's Fine Coffee and Tea
Call for the London Bulletin
(from "Lady Leonora Riley")
Leonora Riley here, ace reporter for esteemed editor Justin Case and
the London Bulletin. I can't make workshops this weekend (working in
L.A.), so... do you want some free publicity for your Dickens group? Is
your backstage soap opera the stuff of legend? Feel like robbing the
Bank of London and blaming it on your long-lost brother? The Bulletin
needs enough material for the first edition! Group leaders, please send
your character list and this year's plot line to me at: email@example.com,
or PM me on Facebook. Note: Our policy is keep it fun and to attack
characters, not actual people, and if you resent being accused of
harboring druids in your basement - hey, you can always go after my
Reminder: 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.
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
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,
Reminder: Facebook Ride Sharing Group
There is a Dickens Fair ride sharing group at
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~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