The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Missive
Great Dickens Christmas Fair 2018 - September Missive #1
Notes from your Missive Maven:
Announcing!  Auditions for characters from the mind of Mr. Dickens  ~ Tuesday September 25th!


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Cat Taylor
Entertainment Director & Missive Maven
In This Missive

Auditions for Characters from the Mind of Mr. Dickens ~ Tuesday September 25th

Auditions for characters from:  Mr. Dickens' books will be held on t he evening of Tuesday September 25th 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.

Start Getting into the Spirit!

(from Therese Porter)

Be not deceived! Dickens is fun to read and full of terrific stuff that will help you get into the spirit of the Fair. While subsequent Missives will be packed with helpful things for you to read, listen to and watch to get your Victorian mojo working, here are a few handy reference site to get the steam engine going:


The Audition Process

(from Therese Porter)

If you're interested in auditioning for a character, please prepare yourself. This is an audition - you are showing your prospective director your potential. Preparation ensures that you shine in your best light.

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 Dickens' characters and the books in which they live:

We Want YOU To Help Put The Dickens In Dickens Fair!

(from  Therese Porter & Rydell Downward)
Want to exercise your artistic muscles and make our guests' experience even more Dickensian? Consider auditioning for the Other Books! Mr Dickens' works are filled with fabulous characters spanning the entire range of human expression and drawing from all walks of life. Colourful eccentrics? You betcha! Solid salt of the earth types? Yup. Exaggerated versions of every Victorian type imaginable? Oh yeah. Villains? We've got those too. You have theatrical muscles you want to stretch? There is probably a Dickens character waiting for you to step into it.

As an ensemble cast of improvisational actors our role at the Fair is to continually interact with our guests and fellow participants providing those unique Dickensian moments that make our immersive world so unique. We are looking for experienced improvisational, interactive performers to fill out our merry band and populate the streets with the vivid and memorable characters sprung 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 improvisational skills and tremendous esprit de corps. We are looking for passionate people willing to bring vivid characters to life in a highly interactive and improvisational setting.

While we filling in some vacancies for specific characters noted below, Mr Dickens wrote a lot of characters, and most of them are wonderful frameworks for a performer to step into and make their own. We encourage people to peruse the Dickens sites to get a feel for what would be a good fit. Even if a specific desired character is already cast, there are usually similar characters in other works.

This year we are especially looking for:

Ralph Nickleby (Nicholas Nickleby): A "respectable" and powerful man of business with family issues and few dark secrets

Miss LaCreevy (Nicholas Nickleby): A lively and artistic lady of a certain age who helps and supports the Nickleby family through its travails.

Agnes Wickfield (David Copperfield) - a steady practical, and brave young woman. David's closest friend, most loyal supporter and ultimately his second wife.

Nicodemus "Noddy" Boffin (Our Mutual Friend): The "Golden Dustman" - a lively, generous, outgoing older man with a marvelous rags-to-riches story.

Philip Pirrip aka Pip (Great Expectations): a young man with an earnest heart, a taste for the finer things of life and a mystery at the core of his life.

Estella (Great Expectations): a young woman of spirit and a troubled upbringing, the idol of Pip's worship.

Mr Jaggers (Great Expectations): a faintly eccentric lawyer with an entire vault of secrets consigned to his care

Herbert Pocket (Great Expectations): Pip's friend and guide through London life.

Mollie (Great Expectations): Jaggers' servant, who has a few secrets of her own.

Magwich (Great Expectations): convict, benefactor, man of mystery, diamond in the rough.

If you are interested in any of these characters, or other characters (and there are so many other characters) prepare an audition and show us what you got!

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.

~ Therese Porter & Rydell Downward

God Bless Us, Every One - The Children of A Christmas Carol

(from Therese Porter)

One of the joys of "A Christmas Carol" is watching the young performers bring the charming and poignant roles of Tiny Tim and his Cratchit siblings - as well as other young people - to life. We usually audition for these roles during workshops, and we will announce what we are looking for in subsequent Missives (including the upcoming Children's Missive).

If you and your child are interested in participating in The Book without whose existence we would not be doing this, there is no better preparation than to read the book and watch an adaptation or two. Children interested in performing these roles must be comfortable being on stage and accustomed to theatrical environments.

Although this year we hope to have more of a Crachit children presence in the streets, actual stage time is limited. Your child should have something else to do at the Fair the rest of the time.
If you have questions feel free to address them to Therese Porter, Director of A Christmas Carol at

Characters from Oliver Twist

(from Cynthia Howell)

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
An up and coming politician who is madly in love with Rose. Harry sacrifices everything to convince Rose to marry him. Looking for a male actor between 20-40.

Pickwick Club Casting! 

(from Jeffrey Weissman)

We'd like performers to be versed in Parliamentary Procedure, somewhat verbose raconteurs and sing (not necessarily well). 

Samuel Pickwick:  a retired successful businessman, mostly a passive and innocent with a childlike simplicity, he's a round-faced, clean-shaven, portly gentleman wearing spectacles.  H e is gallant towards women, yet indecisive with his dealings with them. He is the Founder and Chairman of the Pickwick Club, who with his friends, Mr Nathaniel Winkle, Mr Augustus Snodgrass and Mr Tracy Tupman, travel through London from one comic disaster to another in pursuit of adventure or honour. 

Mr Augustus Snodgrass: A young, innocuous fellow, he is the poet of the Pickwick Club, (he recites, but never writes a line of verse). 

Mr Nathaniel Winkle: A very inept young sportsman, Winkle has a flair for misadventures.

We are mounting the 'The Trial of Pickwick' and are also looking for part-time characters to fill the roles of: 

Magistrate, Mr George Nupkins, 
and his comic special constables: 
Mr Jinks, 
Mr Muzzle 
Mr Grummer
And four other support players, three men and one woman, (a few lines each).

Please contact Jeffrey Weissman for more information prior to scheduling an audition at
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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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