Sent  9/15/17
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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2017 - September Missive #2
Notes from your Missive Maven:
It's time to populate our very, very own Dickensian streets and Mr Fezziwig's party! 

See audition information below as well as an update on tickets for 2017.


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

Character Auditions Thursday September 28th

Auditions for characters from: Oliver Twist and the various Other Books will be held on the evening of Thursday September 28th in San Francisco, CA.

Please allow time to find the location and get situated.
Location particulars will be given when you schedule your appointment.

The character parts listed below are open as of now, if you played one of them last year and would like to do so again, please contact your director as soon as possible if you have not already done so.

If you would like to audition for one of these roles, please email  Entertainment Department Assistant Rickie Bolin at with the following information:

1. Your full name, email address and phone number
2. The character(s) you would like to audition for. (Please prepare a bit of the dialogue for that character -see web resources below - and be prepared to improvise as that character.)
3. Your first, second and third choice of audition time on Wednesday, September 28th, The auditions will be scheduled at 15 minute intervals, please be patient as we sometimes get a bit behind when auditioning promising actors.
4. Optional: A brief note of any experience you would like us to know about. We will have applications and accept resumes (not required) at the auditions.

The Audition Process

(from Therese Porter)

If you're interested, please prepare yourself. This is an audition - you are showing your prospective director your potential. Memorize a brief monologue from a character you're interested in, or if you are not sure about a character, prepare for the type of character you are interested in playing. We'll be looking for your ability to form a distinct characterization as well as your ability to project yourself vocally and physically. We will also ask you to do some cold readings and free-form improvisation. Please come prepared.

Here's a great page to learn more about the characters and the books:  
If you have questions, contact Therese at

Characters from The Other Books

(from Therese Porter and Rydell Downward))
The Other Books cast at the Dickens Fair portrays the wide variety of characters from works of Dickens. 

We put the "Dickens" in Dickens Fair!  

We are an ensemble cast  of improvisational actors and our role at the Fair is to continually interact with our guests and fellow actors providing those unique Dickensian moments that make our immersive world so unique. We are looking for experienced improvisational, interactive performers to help fill out our cast and populate the streets of the event with the vivid and memorable characters from the fevered imagination of Charles Dickens. All of the Fair is our stage, and its throngs our ever-changing audience. This is a full time commitment that requires energy, enthusiasm, strong improv skills and tremendous esprit de corps.

 Dickens' characters run the gamut of age, physical appearance, station in life and personality types. People frequently ask us what we are looking for - we want people who love to act and interact and who can bring Our Author's characters to life. No character in Dickens is a small one - each one is a canvas bristling with possibilities. For inspiration, peruse the works of Dickens (online or actual pages) or watch some of the brilliant British TV and film adaptations of his works for an idea of the kinds of characters that exist in the Dickens universe.  Even if the roles you're thinking about are filled, giving us an idea of the "type" that interests you, can help us match you up with a role that you find fulfilling.

 This year we are especially looking for:

 Nicholas Nickleby: The eponymous protagonist of "The Life and Adventures of" - young(ish), passionate, filled with zeal to make a mark on the world and bristling with Romantic notions.
David Copperfield: The portrait of Our Author as a young man. Young(ish), idealistic, artistic and fascinated by his surroundings in London.
Agnes Wickfield (from David Copperfield) - a steady practical, and brave young woman. David's closest friend, most loyal supporter and ultimately his second wife.

BUT THAT'S NOT ALL! Villains? We got 'em.  Colourful eccentrics? Ditto. Solid salt of the earth types? Yup. Exaggerated version of every Victorian type imaginable? Oh yeah. You have theatrical muscles you want to stretch? We've got every conceivable kind of role.
If you are interested in joining us, we are working principally with the characters of these books:
Nicholas Nickleby
Martin Chuzzlewit (English part of the story only)
David Copperfield
Bleak House
Our Mutual Friend
A NOTE ABOUT "A CHRISTMAS CAROL" - we will most likely need a few Cratchit children and perhaps an understudy for Tiny Tim. We will be conducting auditions for these roles during the first weekend of workshops. Children should be mature, comfortable with being on stage,  and able to physically emote - there are almost no spoken lines. A reminder will go out closer to workshops
~ Therese Porter

(from Cynthia Howell)

The avaricious old skeleton, criminal mastermind, and leader of a gang of child pickpockets. Fagin engineers the murder of Nancy.  He is greedy, selfish, conniving, and willing to sacrifice children to protect his self-interest. Male, late 40's - early 60's. This role is a mix of stage and street. You must have stamina to be visible and interactive most of the day and still have energy for emotional and physical finale at the end of the day.

Oliver Twist
The youthful innocent boy around whom the entire story revolves. Must look and act innocent and stout-hearted. Projection a big plus. Looking for a child 9-12 who wants to act. This role may be full or part-time.

Harry Maylie
A fine upstanding young man with a bright future he forfeits for love. Looking for a male mid 20's - mid 30's.

Fagin needs a gang! Seeking children 10-15 who are willing to learn to pick a pocket or two.

(from Dave Batzloff)
Interested in dancing at Fezziwig's but have neither the time nor inclination to joint the Fezzi cast? 
Classes are available to teach you the waltz, polka, mazurka, and schottische, in addition to set dances, e.g. Sir Roger de Coverley (mostly long sets wth men on one side and women on the other), grand marches, and Lancer's Quadrille. 

Free classes are held every Tuesday evening 7:30 -9:00 in Alameda taught by Lesley Batzloff. If you want to get more information, email her at

Classes are also held on Sunday afternoons 2:00 - 4:00 in Alameda taught by Cathleen Meyers. There is a $10.00 fee. If you want more informations, go to

On the other hand, if you are interested in being part of the Fezziwig's cast, send email to

Ticket Update 2017

(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: This Year's Dates

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
Quick Links...
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Website
Dickens Fair Performer 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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