Sent  11/9/17
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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2017 - November Missive #2
Notes from your Missive Maven:
Hello everyone and welcome to dress rehearsal weekend!

The revised workshop and rehearsal schedule for dress rehearsal weekend is on the missive site at 
There will also be printed copies at the pass house.
Another reminder that workshops (Saturday only) and rehearsals will be at The Cow Palace this weekend, there is a simple workshop map on the missive site to help you with the locations if you are unfamiliar.

Make sure to plan on being at the 10:00am Morning Meeting on Sunday in Fezziwig's and staying for the All Character Round Robin. 

Please wear your Dickens Fair costume! The pictures are so much more fun if everyone's in costume!


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

To Our Dickens Fair Family

(from Kevin & Leslie Patterson)

With all the intensity and concern that abounds in 'real' life right now, it warms my heart that we have this opportunity to gather in celebration of the human spirit.  Art as expressed in theatre, music, dance, literature and craft is truly life affirming.  Art renews us so that we may stay resilient in trying times.  And these are indeed very trying times.   

Now, more than ever, we need to be kind to one another, and respectful of ALL those around us.  We cannot know what difficulties others are experiencing that may cause them to show upset or behave in a hurtful way.  I believe our best response is to show compassion and listen with our hearts.  A lot of us are likely experiencing a bit of post traumatic stress right now.  The best advice is to focus on health; getting rest, eating well, (drinking less), and expressing appreciation and love more often and more clearly.

Your performances at our Fair this year, will be a gift to our audiences.   A healthy dose of artistry and human kindness that will send them on their way with renewed optimism and heart.  We have seen this work wonders in the past - after 9/11, after the Paris attacks in 2015, and after the 2016 election.  What we create for our customers and for ourselves can be as important as what Unity Theatre provided in the Tube stations during the blitz in London.  When bad things happen in the world - the arts are needed most! 

This is why the Great Dickens Christmas Fair - our ensemble performance - renews as it rejoices - and why we call it the "Heart of the Holidays." 

Let's support each other with creativity and insight as we rehearse to create a great show.  Lets choose to be loving and lively, and lets find yet new ways to express our gratitude for the depth and talents we see in our Fair family.

Thank you for all that you do.

~Kevin & Leslie Patterson

Get to Know Each Other & Our London!  The Great Dickens Christmas Fair ANNUAL All Character Introduction Round Robin!

(from Therese Porter)

We have all been working hard to pull together a wonderfully warm and welcoming show for our guests, and Dress Rehearsal Day is when we start the great machine of wonder and magic in earnest. To help you prime our individual and collective engines  we ask that after the morning meeting on Sunday, DO NOT RUN AWAY!

PLEASE stay for The Great Dickens Fair Character Round Robin!

It truly helps if  all of us recognize each other in our glorious immersive environment.  It adds immeasurably to the magic to have folks greeting each other in the street by name and exchanging pleasantries, bits of gossip and other tidbits that add to the sparkle, not to mention pointing out "celebrities" to passerby ("Look! There's Mr Dickens!" or "There's that nasty Mr Scrooge."). Our guests ARE watching and listening!

HOW IT WORKS: After clearing away the chairs in Fezziwig's, the casts of the books, the shows, and other groups of the Fair will cluster up with their Director(s) in a big circle. Each Director will lead his or her group forward, and each person will introduce their character (NAME ONLY, please) until we've all introduced ourselves. 

This gives you a chance to show off who your character is (not to mention your BRILLIANT physical characterization) in a few short seconds as part of your group.  Please pay attention and learn to recognize people.  We will then mingle and converse, changing with whom we speak every few minutes as directed. This process is a great opportunity to get to know people outside your group and gives each of us more to play with. Please plan on participating in this important and fun exercise!

Get to Know Our London!

(from Therese Porter)

After the morning meeting and the All Character Round Robin, take some time to learn where things are - there have been a great many changes to the layout, new booths, the expanded children's bay, and so much more. 

Our guests are going to be asking the locals (that would be you) about where things are so be pro-active and know the location of such landmarks as the Tea Shop, the Carousel, the docks, the pubs, the NEW LOOS, etc., so that you can direct guests with confidence. This is also a good time to acquaint yourself with the exits, and the stages and bars where you can contact the people who can help you deal with difficulties.  Be aware that there is still an awful lot of construction still going on, so be prepared to use common sense and respect - in other words, your best Victorian manners!

(from Liz Martin)

A quick reminder that costumes is now located in the annex. We are at the end closest to the main building and will be doing both approvals and FasTrak there. Please look for signs directing you where to go. This is new for us, so please have patience as we work out this new location.

Please, please, please! if at all possible get your costume approval done this weekend! Opening weekend is always very busy and there will likely be confusion with people finding us opening morning.

Approvals and Fastrack
9-4 Saturday
11:30-4 Sunday

The costume shop will be open for rentals from 12pm - 4 both Saturday and Sunday.



Speaking of the annex...

A large event with so many moving human parts requires a lot of care to keep humming along. Remembering to respect our personal and collective space goes a long way to making things work the way they should.

This year the Annex contains our Costume Department and more casts. Rob Bradshaw, Drew Patterson and a small band of folks worked out an advanced form of Tetris to accommodate the influx. More than ever we need to remember our manners and respect the space of our fellow performers. 

PLEASE don't enter another cast's area without the specific consent of an individual from that cast. Bear in mind that some casts do not permit non-cast members in their space without Director approval. Whatever the rules are, please respect them. If you have a concern, please report it to your Director.

(from Mark Solum)

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

Thanks from Steve Johnson & Oceana

(from Steve Johnson)

Dear Participants,

You were all extraordinarily helpful in keeping the rooms and school grounds at Oceana High School clean and orderly. I worked with our security team - who took pictures of the classrooms before and after - to make sure the rooms were as we found them, and you did a beautiful job in keeping the rooms remarkably tidy. You were also wonderfully generous in your donations - this year you donated $1184, which was close to last year's fund raising. I will be presenting a check for that amount to the principal at their next staff meeting, and rest assured the money will be going to some very worthwhile projects, including the school garden, science equipment, and the arts. 

Thank you one and all.

Steve Johnson
School Liaison 


We are setting a goal this year of collecting 1,000 toys from our participant community for "Operation Santa Claus" run by the Daly City Fire Department.   If each of us brings just ONE new, unwrapped toy, we will achieve this goal.  Please bring your toy(s) to the Pass house for Santa's elves to pick up and deliver.


Kevin & Leslie Patterson

(from Juanita Watkins)

It's getting close to Opening Day - are you still looking for your niche? Looking to change what you do? Christmas Keepers is both a wonderful introduction and a terrific way to learn the ins and out of The Great Dickens Christmas Fair!

Christmas Keepers embrace a variety of activities including taking tickets and acting as tour guides, participating in parades, assisting guests with questions and generally helping to spread good cheer (not to mention  valuable information).  

This is a marvelous way to immerse yourself in the Fair, find your place in it while sharing the magic of the Holiday Season with our guests , and help the Fair!

Sounds good? Contact Juanita Watkins at

Juanita Watkins,
Director, Christmas Keepers

Positions Available with Dickens Fair Merchants

(from the Vendor Coordinator)

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

There will be a Help Wanted posting Board in the Green Room.  Stop by to peruse the board and then walk the venue to speak with the merchants.

For more information go online to:


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

Please contact Michael Patterson at for details

Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe is Hiring!

(from David Vangerov)

Looking for a paid position at Dickens Fair? Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe is looking for help for the following positions: serving, retail gift shop & dishwashing. We offer flexible scheduling if you are also performing. All the tea and scones you can stomach as a perk. Prior restaurant experience is not necessary.

Interested parties should drop by the Tea Shoppe this Weekend and ask for Sue Honor, Sharon Hinkel or David Vangerov

Buck & Mug - Dickens Fair Edition!

(from Jason Adajian)
A Winter Buck & Mug is a rare occurrence; this is a call for submissions! This issue will celebrate Winter Festivals, Ancient and New, with an emphasis on one of our favorites... Please send us your Dickens Fair stories, or character episodes of Winter ritual and drama! Also encouraged is your artwork, songs, poetry, photos, and announcements of Births, Deaths, Marriages or even Life Changes Inspired by Wintry Visitations.
Ad space available at the usual reasonable rates!
Send all submissions and any inquiries to: buck& Don't delay! Deadline is November 26th (2nd weekend of the Fair)
Jason Adajian, Editor - Winter 2017

Sales in Front of Mr. Alan Jeffries This Weekend/Collar Service

(from Jeffrey Schoenberg)

BACK BY POPULAR DEMAND - The studio stock that I had for sale at 1st weekend of workshops will be back this weekend at the Cow Palace. Capes, skirts, shifts, etc. in front of Mr. Alan Jeffries. Cash or check only.

COLLAR SERVICE - Do your starched collars look a little less than perky? Mr. Alan Jeffries is offering collar service starting this coming weekend. Drop off your collars on Sunday and pick them up the following Saturday all clean and starched up. $5.00 each paid in advance. Cash only. Thank you.

Calling Card Orders with Elite Printing

We had a close call with the Redwood Fire but the print shop survived.

We are taking orders for "calling cards".

Last year's improvements increased our capacity.
We plan to accept orders through 4th weekend.

You may call upon us at our location in the first hall closest to the docks or you may reach us via telegraph ( )

Please share with us a way to contact you in case of questions and to schedule delivery.

Delivery in character is available by prior arrangement.

We look forward to your patronage.

I am Hay, of Elite Printing, London

More Bay Bridge Implosions This Saturday

Traffic Alert - San Francisco/Oakland Bay Bridge Rolling Closures 
Old Bay Bridge Marine Foundations Demolition 
Next Implosions: Saturday, November 11
When: Saturday, November 11
What: Rolling closures.
Where: San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge. (The bicycle and pedestrian path will also be closed intermittently. See the schedule (PDF) .
Why: Demolition of the Remaining 2 Marine Foundation - Piers E17 & E18
How: Controlled, underwater implosions lasting less than ten seconds
Who: Caltrans, partner agencies and contractors


Reminder: Ticket Update 2017

There have been several questions about participant tickets this week, so I'm re-posting this item from the September 15th missive:

(from Kevin Patterson)

The cost of participant priced tickets will increase this year from $15 to $18.   Group sales tickets (20 or more) are the next best priced tickets at $20.  Both participant and group tickets are still good for any day of the event. All other tickets are now select-day only.  As always, participant priced tickets ($18 for adults and $10 for children 5-12) are available at Workshops and at the Passhouse.  They are not available online.

The last time the price for participant tickets increased was in 2002 when they went from $12 to $15.   Regular admission tickets went from $25 to $30 three years ago for the final two weekends, and became the regular admission price for all regular adult admissions last year.   

Twilight tickets (sold at the box office after 3pm) are also $18.   

As the costs of venue, production, insurance, and all other aspects of presenting a quality show increase, so must our admission prices.   We have kept the price of participant tickets as low as possible as a 'thank you' to all our participants, and keeping them valid for use on any day of the event is also an important perk.   

For a second year in a row,  our audience must purchase advance tickets for the day they wish to attend.   
"Select day" ticketing is the best way to balance attendance and avoid overcrowding on the most popular days.   The public is also encouraged to come on the first two weekends with the $7 early bird discount continuing now through October 15th.   This discount only applies to the first two weekends of the event.   The same goes for a $3 discount that will run from October 16 to Opening Day on Facebook and other platforms.   

The final three weekends of the Fair are not discounted, so the Participant and Group tickets are an especially good deal for those weekends.  Children's tickets (5 - 12 years of age) are  $14 ($10 for Twilight and Participant and Groups).   

For a complete list of general public prices visit   Please encourage guests to attend the first two weekends if possible, this is not only when it is less crowded, but when the crafts community has the best selection of their new wares.

Kevin Patterson

Reminder: 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: 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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Quick Links...
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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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