Sent  9/7/17
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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2017 - September Missive #1
Notes from your Missive Maven:
It's after Labor Day weekend and things are a poppin'! There will be another missive with more announcements within the week, but I wanted to get this one out today since tickets have just gone on sale! Off we go!


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Cat Taylor
Entertainment Director, Missive & Social Media Maven
In This Missive

Tickets On Sale for the 35th Great Dickens Christmas Fair!

Welcome to our delightfully elaborate and deliciously curated Victorian Holiday Party!  

"Imagine visiting London's West End in 1850 and finding all the theatre doors open wide for a single price, and all the lamp-lit streets filled to overflowing with hilarity and mirth!  That's what every day of the Fair is like." ~ Kevin Patterson

Join 800 colorful characters from Victorian London and the imagination of Charles Dickens, as you discover over three acres of twilight-lit shops, pubs, stages, and dance halls. This season's event will debut an expansive new children's area, new juried crafts, and the premiere of Gilbert and Sullivan's seriously comedic operetta "Trial By Jury" ~ and much more!
This is just part of the exciting announcement that went out to our emailing list this morning as tickets went on sale for our 35th Anniversary Season! Discounted tickets for the first two weekends will be available for our visitors to purchase through October 15th and we are once again doing select-day ticketing. 

We will of course have the ever-popular participant tickets, details will be in a forthcoming missive.

Exciting Layout Changes!

(from Kevin Patterson)

Exciting layout changes for this years Dickens Fair are afoot!  The new plan will significantly expand the "Tinsley Green" children's area.   In order to accommodate this increase in the 'on stage' area, we will be reducing the size of the 'back-stage' area. This means the costume shop will be relocated to the Annex 
(all empty road boxes will be stored elsewhere) and the size of the Red Barn production areas will be reduced.  
(Any changes in the costume approval process will be announced separately.)

Most of the groups who had backstage areas in the green room last year will have areas of roughly the same size and proximity to their stages, but things will be moved around a bit.  The main exceptions to this will be the children's group which will be provided with a trailer and the Royals who are joining us in the Annex.  

The expansion plan will open up the flow in the "kids bay" and give the audience,  especially families with young children and strollers, much more comfort and ease of movement.  The Fair will also be able to accommodate additional returning as well as new vendors.  
Many new things for the audience to discover and enjoy!

Date Reminders

These are also on the Vendors & Performers page and the missive page:

2017 Show Dates
Oct. 28-29: Workshops in Pacifica
Nov. 4-5: Workshops in Pacifica
Nov. 11: Workshops at the Cow Palace
Nov. 12: Dress Rehearsal at the Cow Palace
Weekend 1: Nov. 18-19
Weekend 2: Nov. 24-25-26
Weekend 3: Dec. 2-3
Weekend 4: Dec. 9-10
Weekend 5: Dec. 16-17

Character Auditions Thursday September 28th

Auditions for characters from Dickens' books will be held during the evening of Thursday September 28th in San Francisco. Specifics will be in a forthcoming missive.

Alice in Wonderland is Looking to Add to Our Cast!

(from Kim Murphy)

Are you good at improv and street gigging? Are you comfortable being silly on stage? We have a great part for you! We are looking for at least two adults to play as the Cards to serve the Queen of Hearts. Duties will include two stage shows and The Queen of Hearts procession.
We will provide the main Card costume. We do ask that you can perform all the weekends and be able to attend workshops. You will also need to provide your own non-Alice Victorian attire.
If you are interested, please contact Kim Murphy at for more details. 


(from Kevin Patterson)
Dear Dickens Fair community: our leather mask maker, Mitchell Walker, is now in hospice care with his loving family near Philadelphia. His cancer is beyond treatment.

If you have a "Mitchell Mask" in your life, (and can find it), please consider taking a mask-inspired photo, (wearing, holding, or feeding your mask) and send it to him with a brief note to 1430 Hunters Lane West Chester PA 19380  If you prefer email, his sister Cindy has agreed to print out your emails for Mitchell. Her address is:

His memory and verbal abilities are such that this is the best way to communicate. He is not likely to remember any of us by name, so feel free to be whimsical with your salutations.
...Just let him know his art lives on in the theatre of life...

Thank you.
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
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, Red Barn Productions,PO Box 1768, Novato, CA 94948
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