The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2017 - September Missive #3
Notes from your Missive Maven:
A reminder about Dickens character auditions tomorrow (Thursday) evening, information about promotional events, articles for The Bulletin and a curious message that "The Game's Afoot..."


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

Reminder: Character Auditions This Thursday September 28th

(from Therese Porter)

We put the "Dickens" in Dickens Fair!  

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.!

Auditions for characters from:  Oliver Twist and the various Other Books will be held on t he 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.

Please see this previous missive for more information:

Promotional Appearances

(from Kevin Patterson)
Chase Williams will once again be heading our live promotional appearances.  Show up in costume and receive "good any day" comp tickets as a thank you! Dates and all specifics available from Chase; let him know where you are based and what your costume will be.  

Interested?  Contact Chase directly at:

The Bulletin Newspaper Seeks Submissions!

(from the staff of The Bulletin)

The Bulletin newspaper, based at the printing establishment of The Elite Printing Company, once again seeks articles and illustrations for a new edition to be published each weekend of the Fair. 

Our mission: The Bulletin is a take-off on a Victorian scandal-sheet. It exists to enhance everyone's Dickens Fair fun, publicize gigs, and inspire zany improv. 

To submit finished articles or drawings, email editor "Justin Case" (Don Cox) at To submit ideas for write-up, email "Leonora Riley" (Lee Bridges) at It's very rare for us to receive duplicate and conflicting articles, but you can check with us first. Submitting early gives us a chance to sort it out.

Deadline is Wednesday night before the weekend edition. Contact us if you will miss our deadline; we may be able to delay for a good article. We get almost nothing first weekend because everyone is so busy. Early publication ensures time for your gig-related articles to reach full flower.

We impugn characters, but never real people. The Bulletin is a literary adjunct to our immersive theatrical environment. Don't get real people into real life trouble.  If someone asks you not to write about their character, don't do it--they have a good reason, personal or theatrical, whether they choose to share it with you or not.

The use of Victorian veiled phrasing not only gives it the proper style, but protects our Most Impressionable. For instance:

On Sex: "This reporter was shocked that a lady of ill repute invited him to her home for a private how-de-do!"
On Violence: "Our noble captain, despite losing a leg to cannon fire, single-handedly dispatched six enemy soldiers before expiring!"
On Cursing: "The robber, upon capture, let out a cry of (expletives deleted to protect the delicate sensibilities of our readers)."

Average article length is about 250-300 words. Smaller pieces are great because it makes the layout more interesting. Longer pieces are possible depending on subject matter.

Yes, you can write about your own character and your own group. You can even announce your gig schedule. As in Dickens, be bigger than life and not boring. There are a plethora of groups and characters who return annually with whom you can spread scurrilous rumors and start trouble. As a scandal-sheet, we try to maintain an adversarial relationship with various groups and characters ourselves.

You can be far more lurid and melodramatic in print than in the streets, and you can use this to your advantage. For theatrical flavor, we have filled the Thames with squid, followed a scandalous love hexangle, burned down parts of London, printed a recipe for Mock Turtle Soup, had an advice column from Karl Marx, and turned children's stories inside-out.

If you play a historical character, or simply want to write about one, do so. We've had some wonderful submissions about visits from Japanese and Hawaiian delegates, nurses in the Crimea, escaped slaves doing lecture tours, and even investments in the proposed Brooklyn Bridge. We even detailed a genuine visit from the real British Consul with his family.

Merchants, you can write or request an article about your booth. We've learned that a good article generates more visitors (and sales).

Get creative, have fun, and remember the motto of The Bulletin:  "Truth! Honesty! Integrity!" (written by our founder in the font known as Blarney Stone).

(from James & Cathleen Myers)

PEERS' Sherlock Holmes Ball - 1895
The Game's Afoot! On Saturday, October 7, join Mycroft and Sherlock Holmes, the beautiful Irene Adler, Franklin Beau Davis and The Brassworks at PEERS' Sherlock Holmes Ball in a beautiful grand ballroom where it is always 1895! (Our venue, the Alameda Elks Lodge at 2255 Santa Clara Avenue, Alameda, was actually built in 1909, but no matter!). 

Late Victorian or Edwardian costume or modern evening dress is admired but not required. No partners required; Victorian ballroom dance lesson at 7pm and formal vintage dancing from 8pm to midnight. Light refreshments and a no host bar.  Dickens Fair folk will recognize a number of their colleagues in different costumes and personae at the ball! 

Tickets are $20 in advance (by Saturday, September 30); $25 at the door. For ticket information see  For event questions, call us at (510) 522-1731 or email
James & Cathleen Myers

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
Cat's Missive Page
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Facebook page
Dickens Fair Twitter
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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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