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Dickens Christmas Fair 2005 December Missive #1

(sent December 1st, 2005)

Hello everyone and thanks for a fabulous opening weekend! We have a fair amount of notes this week (pun intended), hope you've all managed to catch up on some sleep and avoid the nasty little cold I had. I recommend the elderberry/vitamin C/zinc lozenges.... Oh, and please don't walk around in the green room bay bare-footed. It was  so recently a construction area (and sometimes still is), that this is quite unwise.

Please peruse this missive well, there's all sorts of cool stuff, including a party, a foundation to help fair folk with extreme medical emergencies and a customer engagement at Fezziwig's!


In This Missive
Reminder: Fezziwig's is Live at 10:00AM
Participants 20’s Speakeasy Swing Dance Saturday Night at Fezzi's
Invitation from The Adventurer's Club
Stages & Children
KRON Live Sunday Morning
Notes from the Costume Department
Costume Contest Information
Customer Engagement at Fezziwig's!
Lost Can-Can Top
Fair RESCU Foundation
Scrooge Readings Out in the World
Dickens Fair Participant Discount at "Emperor Norton I The Musical!"

Reminder: Fezziwig's is Live at 10:00AM
A reminder to all from Barbara at Fezzwig's, that that Fezzi's is "live" at 10am, so no anachronism's inside. And please, be quiet in the bay during the tableau (nothing we can do about customers in the lobby); conversations were heard from the other side of the Fezzi curtain.

Participants 20’s Speakeasy Swing Dance Saturday Night at Fezzi's
RBP, the Beverage Dept, and le Can Can Bijou have teamed up to throw a Swing Party this Saturday night in Fezziwigs from 8:00pm- til 11:00pm.
No charge, open bar and a jar on the bar to assist our own Can Can Dancers get snazzy new shoes! 

Come dance the night away with us...

Invitation from The Adventurer's Club
"The Adventurer's Club would like to invite the other characters to visit them each day from 3:30 to 4:15 PM.  Middle (and upper) calss Victorians set days and times when they were considered "At Home" to those who wanted to call on them.  We have set an "At Home" time for the club, to reflect that custom.  The calls were formal and somewhat brief (about 15 minutes).  Calling cards would be very welcome."

Stages & Children
Two reminders: children should not be in the audience for French postcards (parental customers don't understand) and the stages are not babysitters.

KRON Live Sunday Morning
KRON with Henry Tenenbaum will once again be featuring the Dickens Christmas Fair on KRON Weekend News this coming Sunday morning - on air 8-9:30. We experience a tremendous boost in attendance from this - people see us on the morning news and then come to see us in person - immediately!

We need a good turn-out, in full costume, to bring our London to life. All who participate must be in costume, in the V&A, at 7am this Sunday morning. Jim, at the Roast Beef booth, will have coffee, tea, and bagels and cream cheese available at 6:30.

All environmental areas  should be "dressed" and ready for shooting - no tarps or sheets pinned up, no hoops decorating the furniture, everything in place and ready for "company."

The scenario is being finalized and we'll let everyone know what's what and who's who at the 7am meeting. As with anything media-related - everything is subject to change up until the time the camera rolls.

Please list the names of who in your group is able to attend, as well as their character names. There will be a pair of comp tickets for each participant.

With All Sorts of Regards,
Phyllis Patterson
Chief Instigator

Notes from the Costume Department
(many thanks from me to Alexandria for fixing my torn waistband on Sunday)

Hello everyone, just a few words from the costume department.
Firstly, I want to congratulate so many of you on new or refurbished wardrobe for this fair - I know that a lot of late hours, patient needlework, new skills,and frustrated re-dos were involved. Your efforts show, and it is a pleasure to see so many looking so wonderfully turned out, and to feel you truly inhabiting your wardrobe, using it to help become another person from another place and time. I congratulate and support you as we go into the second weekend.

Secondly - there have been a few sightings of folks in their underwear or otherwise in states of dishabile' on the street as the fair opens. Please, I beg you, do not be seen this way.  Remember to give your self a few extra minutes - My Damage Control Math for time involves doubling how long I think it's going to take me to do anything, then scheduling my travel and work time accordingly.  Also, remember that whenever you go into the streets, you should make a conscious effort to dress in your character's outdoor clothing - it is one of the best ways to make all our London visitors realize that that's not sawdust - it's SNOWING!  Even if you are "just ducking out to the Loo" remember, the Loo is across the street, and it's COLD there.  As to the end of fair, please save your out-of-corset/costume experience until the last of the ticket-holding participants have been sent upon their merry way to the 21st Century.

Thirdly - if you have a costume accident, I am here to help. I will not be able to supply you with much in the way of supplies,  but can help you with repairs, stains, or using your own supplies for repairs. I have a grommet anvil and hammer available for emergency replacements. I recommend having things like extra buttons, some thread and a needle, a grommet or two, and some extra corset lacing around - to say nothing of a safety pin or two, an extra pair of socks.

I look forward to seeing all of you this weekend!
Alexandria Volk

Costume Contest Information
"Miss Georgina Hogarth (Mr. Dickens' sister-in-law) and her trusty judges will again be patroling the streets of London looking for likely candidates for the dailyl Costume Competition.  If the judges consider your costume to be worthy they will give you a red praiseworthy ribbon to denote your excellent work.  If those who have received ribbons wish to participate in the competition, they will assemble on the Father Christmas Stage around 2:30 (check the stage schedule to make sure of the time).  The winner will be given a prize and two comp tickets so they may return for the final competion on the last Sunday of the fair.  The grand prize winner will receive yet another prize and a fairever pass good for next year. 

The judges will be giving out 30 ribbons a day and all fair participants are eligible, including actors and vendors.  Your costume must be between the years of 1840 and 1870 and will be judged on construction, fit, design, authenticity and over-all appearance.   This year, two of our judges will be concentrating on men's attire, so we highly encourage men to participate.  As in the past, the Greater Bay Area Costumers Guild will be sponsering an award for workmanship.  For further information or questions, please apply to Miss Hogarth at Tavistock House (the Dickens' Family Parlor) or Miss Elizabeth Siddell at the Adventurer's Club."

Customer Engagement at Fezziwig's!
Security guard Miche came up to me Sunday evening all misty and excited over something that had just happened at Fezziwig's. She had spoken with two customers who were thinking of leaving and encouraged them to stay a bit longer and go for a dance at Fezziwig's. Soon afterwards the woman came up to her all a twitter, saying that after fifteen years together, she had decided to propose and needed a ring. Miche had recently found a plain silver band on the ground and loaned it to her for the occasion. I'll let Mr Fezziwig take it from there.

"Just before the last Sir Roger de Coverly, one of the security ladies came to me and said that a couple had been together a long time, and that the lady wanted to propose on the floor. So at the end of the Sir Roger, I took them out to the front mid spot light, she dropped to one knee, everybody figured out the universal proposal sign, he dropped to one knee, they got up, she said a bunch on stuff that couldn't be heard, but everyone in the house was waiting for his answer.  He answered "yes", in a loud, clear and shaky voice, cheers rang out,  Bangers & Mash played the Anniversary song waltz (the piece is period, i doubt that the words are, but no one sang it) and the newly engaged couple were allowed once around before the rest of us joined in the waltz. It was all very sweet."

The last Miche saw of them, they were off to buy a ring in the fair.

Lost Can-Can Top
from Anni Kellam
I seem to have lost the top to my cancan dress, probably on dress rehearsal weekend (Sal’s area). It’s sage green, laces up the back, with maroon trim.
Please contact <>

Fair RESCU Foundation
(Note from Cat - this is very cool)

Mission Statement - The RESCU  (Renaissance Entertainers, Services and Crafters United) Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization established to promote financial relief and comfort to Renaissance Faire/Festival participants and their families who have experienced medical disruptions and subsequent extreme difficulties.

Our Goals Are:
        * To continue looking for ways to answer long and short-term health insurance issues on both a group and individual basis.
        * To educate communities about health issues by providing workshops and classes, such as first aid, with the hope that our overall wellness can improve.
        * Create an atmosphere within our communities that we are part of a bigger community, one that cares and is mobilized to help.

Heidi B's Pale Moon Booth has RESCU items for sale ! 100% of the proceeds go to RESCU Foundation!
 - Ask at the counter, as these items are not on display -

        *RESCU Lapel Pins - These beautiful pewter pins of the RESCU Foundation logo show your support with style and grace. These are typically sold at our RESCU Rallies.
If you would like to purchase a quantity to resell for the benefit of RESCU, call 1-800-374-9215 or see the website:
Suggested donation: $10.00 each

        * CD: ENCORE FOR A QUEEN, The next in a series of RESCU compilation CDs with music from many of your favorite groups that tour the Renaissance Faire/Festival circuit, as well as other national recording artists. Those in need around the country receive 100% of all the funds raised by these projects.
 Suggested donation: $20.00

For more information:
If you would like to send a donation (tax-deductible), please make your check or money order out to the RESCU Foundation and send it to:
 RESCU Foundation
 P.O. BOX 606
 Mundelein, IL 60060.

Heidi B's Pale Moon Booth is in the Mad Sal's bay, across from Rainbow and Steven Overstreet.

Scrooge Readings Out in the World
Martin Harris, Ebenezer Scrooge, will be giving his dramatic reading of A Christmas Carol at the following locations and would love support from participants in costume.

Next Wednesday Dec 7th in Petaluma Library at 7pm with refreshments afterwards and

Tuesday Dec 13th in Rohnert Park Library at 7pm with refreshments.
Both these library events are free to the public.

Then for a very special evening closer to the city, on Friday 16th Dec at 7.30pm Martin will be giving his reading by the crackling fire of the Drawing Room in the Julia Morgan Center on Durant Street for the Berkeley City Club who encourage you to dine in their magnificent dining room before hand.  This will be very special evening to dress up for and costs only $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.  For reservations call 510 280 1540 or turn up on the evening, everyone is most welcome.

Martin is looking for any carolers who would like to help by singing before hand at all three events so speak to Martin backstage at Fair this weekend.

Dickens Fair Participant Discount at "Emperor Norton, I The Musical!"
We here at The Dark Room Theater would like to extend an invitation to Dickens Faire Participants for reduced price tickets to our new musical! Tickets are usually $15.00, but with a gate pass (no, costume not required ) participants can have a $12.50 admission price.

Impossible Productions presents EMPEROR NORTON I
A New Musical that’s Right as Reign

WHEN:   Weekends December 2005 and January 2006
                Fridays, Saturdays @ 7:30pm; Sundays @ 3pm
                No show December 23, 24, or 25, 2005

WHERE:  The Dark Room Theater - 2263 Mission Street (b/t 18th and 19th), SF
TICKETS:  $12.50 at the door with a Dickens Fair Gate Pass, $15 without or Online at
INFO:  415.401.7987 or

SAN FRANCISCO, CA — “Pause, Traveler, and be grateful to Norton I…” reads the inscription on the Bay Bridge.
 Emperor Norton I, Sovereign Ruler of the United States and Protector of Mexico, was a visionary to some, a kook to others and beloved by all.  Lovingly crafted by the Ohanneson family, this humorous, original musical is a tribute to San Francisco, the Barbary Coast, and its eccentric characters. It’s a step back into history and follows a man who loved his city and the city that loved him. 

In 1850 San Francisco, pandemonium reigns in the rough and tumble, formative Gold Rush years of the City by
the Bay.  The wealthy Joshua A. Norton loses his fortune and mental stability; and his descent into madness is rivaled only by his rise into notoriety.  He declares himself Emperor of the United States and the Protector of Mexico, and endears himself to the likes of Mark Twain, Lotta Crabtree, Lola Montez, the two annoying dogs, Bummer & Lazarus, and the lowbrows of the Barbary Coast.  But can a madman dissolve Congress, raise an army, print his own money and propose to the Queen of England?  He can in San Francisco--which just goes to show, it's important to make a good first Emper-ession.

This is an Impossible Production is a family affair with script by Kim Axelrod Ohanneson, score by Marty Ohanneson Axelrod, direction by Jim Fourniadis-Ohanneson, production by Erin Ohanneson, costumes by Jill Ohanneson and research by Greg Ohanneson with tech mastered by Ty “Honorary Ohanneson” McKenzie.  Norton stars:  Jim Fourniadis, Peter Doty, Steffanos X, Phil Darnowsky, Don Wood, David Stein, Nancy Bower, Haggis, Denzil Meyers, Anomaly aka Sadie Lune, Rhiannon Charisse, Laura Malouf-Renning, Jukie Sunshine, Michelle Talgarow and
Cameron Eng.

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