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The Great Dickens Christmas Fair & Red Barn Productions

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair Character Auditions

Red Barn Productions is holding open auditions for the 2022 Great Dickens Christmas Fair

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a one-of-a-kind immersive adventure into Victorian London. An elaborate holiday party with hundreds of costumed players performing for, and interacting with, patrons in over 140,000 square feet of theatrically-lit music halls, pubs, dance floors, and festive shops. It's a twilight Christmas Eve in Charles Dickens' London Town - a city of winding lanes filled with colorful characters from both literature and history. Enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty foods fill the air. Cries of street vendors hawking their wares ring out above the bustling crowd. Dozens of lamplit shops are filled to overflowing with handmade gifts. The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a treasured Bay Area tradition since 1970 and a splendid way to celebrate the holidays.

Rehearsal & Performance Dates

  • Workshop/Rehearsal Dates (Required for all actors): October 29-30, November 05-06, and November 12-13, 2022.

Please note that rehearsal scheduling is dependent on each individual group. Please email [email protected] if you have questions about rehearsals, and we will forward them.

  • Performance Dates: 5 Weekends (Saturday/Sunday), November 19-December 18, including the Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov 25, 2022.

All Workshops and Performances will be held at the Cow Palace in Daly City.

Audition Information

  • Audition Dates: September 17, 2022 from 10:00am-2:00pm, with a separate hour for vocalists from 2:00-3:00pm. We will do our best to stay on time with audition slots, but be prepared to stay the full hour.

  • Audition Location: Fellowship Hall, Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists, 1606 Bonita Ave, Berkeley CA 94709.

  • Callbacks: Will be held on an individual basis (as needed). Location is to be determined.

  • Video Auditions: If, for whatever reason you cannot attend auditions on the 17th, we will be accepting video submissions for all roles, until September 15th. Please email [email protected] for guidelines regarding video submissions.

 

Covid Policy: Please bring proof of vaccination with you to auditions. All actors will be required to show proof of vaccination against COVID-19 and may choose to wear a mask at any time. If cast, it is suggested that actors regularly test for the duration of the run of the Fair. 

Actor Acknowledgement: All roles are non-AEA but will be paid. Pay scale is determined by show schedule, experience, and actor availability. Payment for most shows starts at $18 per hour.

Audition Requirements: To register for an audition slot, please visit our Sign-Up Genius page for time slot selection and complete an audition form. You will need to complete both to audition. Please prepare a one-minute (max) monologue of your choice and a 32-bar cut of a song that shows your range (if auditioning for a singing part). We want to be wowed and want you to be comfortable with your material! Additional cold readings and possible improvisational work may be assigned at the discretion of the directors. The theatrical environment in which The Great Dickens Christmas Fair operates is interactive, improvisational, and immersive - although there are scenes for which memorization and conventional staging are required, the largest part of the day for most performers will be spent working with our guests. Improvisational skills - as well as comfort interacting with the public in a noisy and dynamic environment - are very important for most roles.

  • Appointment Sign Up: Please use the available slots below to secure your audition time.

  • Online Audition Form: Google Form

In the interest of COVID-19 safety guidelines (which are ever-changing), we are not casting children at these particular auditions. We will audition minors at a later time. 

Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Shows & Roles

Red Barn Productions (RBP) practices inclusive casting and welcomes performers from all races, ethnicities, gender identities and abilities to audition for any role. Further, RBP seeks to tell the stories of people across the identity spectrum living in Dickensian England, one of the most culturally and ethnically diverse cities in the world at that time.

One of the unique and wonderful components of The Great Dickens Christmas Fair experience is that characters from Charles Dickens' work come to life to mingle with people in the streets. The beauty of Dickens’ characters is that they allow an actor to stretch into a broad range of characterisation and interactivity. There are no small roles in Dickens! If there is a character from any Dickens’ work that you are interested in playing, please prepare an audition for it - even if the role is not available, your audition will help the directors determine what you could be doing.

We are also casting several of the dynamic and noteworthy people who lived in the world of Charles’ Dickens London. We are especially focusing on exploring the diversity of that world and bringing forward the underrepresented people and groups that populated the Great Metropolis and added to its rich tapestry.

Literary Character Roles

 A Christmas Carol

  • Ebenezer Scrooge (understudy) - The most famous miser in literature, who goes on a redemptive journey from stingy misanthrope to embodiment of seasonal cheer thanks to his interactions with the spirit realm
  • The Ghost of Christmas Past - Can be any gender presentation or age. The first of the three spirits, embodiment of nostalgia for Christmases in Scrooge’s past, this character is both cooly removed and faintly snarky
  • The Ghost of Christmas Present (and understudy) - Can be any gender presentation. The literal incarnation of Christmas cheer and a reminder of the duty of humans to be kind and generous to one another; must be capable of larger than life jolliness, kindness, and judgment 
  • Mrs. Fezziwig - Older, female presenting. Mrs Fezziwig is the gracious, jovial hostess of the liveliest Christmas party in town
  • Fezziwig Daughters - Late teens to early twenties, female presenting. The Fezziwig daughter roles are flexible as to temperament and theatrical business; they provide sparkle and focus to the presentations and activities at the Fezziwig Christmas party.

David Copperfield

  • David Copperfield - Late teens through twenties,  male presenting. Portrait of the author as a young person - curious, energetic, fascinated but a little overwhelmed by the world around them
  • Dora Spenlow (shared role) - Early twenties to early thirties, female presenting. David’s love interest, Dora is adorably ditzy and utterly silly.
  • Agnes Wickfield (shared role) - Twenties to early thirties, female presenting. Agnes is the bedrock of the book - steady, strong, compassionate and kind.
  • Mr Micawber - Verbose, feckless, impecunious, clever and charming, this character was based on Dickens’ father.

Nicholas Nickelby

  • Nicholas Nickelby - Late teens through twenties, male presenting. Heroic, emotionally volatile and angry in the face of injustice, devoted to friends and family.
  • Mrs Nickelby - Forties or older, female presenting. A comic role - constantly talking to everyone, interested in everything, incapable of being sensible.
  • Miss LaCreevy - Forties or older, female presenting. Landlady and friend of the Nickelby women, clever, kind-hearted, artistic yet practical.

Pickwick Papers

  • Sam Weller - Any age, male presenting. One of Dickens’ most beloved characters - the loyal valet and sidekick to Mr Pickwick, sharp-witted, ambitious, and sensible (note: actors interested in this role must be able to do a Cockney accent)

Oliver Twist

  • Nancy - Early twenties, female presenting. A "survivor", Nancy keeps her determination to find a better life even in the darkest circumstances. A member of Fagin's gang as a child, she is now Bill Sikes’ devoted lover despite his abusive nature. Pretty, intelligent, and fond of the children, loving, bold, Nancy becomes Oliver's protector.  Cockney accent required.
  • Artful Dodger - 15+, under 5’4’’ to play male presenting 14-17. Fagin’s right hand “man.” London's best pickpocket, and a great little thief. Charming, crafty, intelligent, brave, and savvy beyond his years, Dodger is full of life and bursting with new ideas and a sense of adventure. Must be able to follow directions, rules, be on time for multiple gigs, and conduct themselves professionally.  Cockney accent required.
  • Mr Bumble the Beadle & Judge Fang (dual role) -  older, male presenting. Both characters are loud, pompous, officious, played for laughs.

Theme Character Roles

  • Mad Sal - Any presenting gender, shape, or race; Mad Sal is a Theme Character and Victorian Proprietor of the East End Music Hall & Mad Sal’s Dockside Alehouse. Sal is sexy without being sexual, nice but not necessarily good, has a shady past, powerful friends, and above all, is the consummate host. They are Humphery Bogart (Casablanca), Mae West, and PT Barnum rolled into one fabulous package.  If you are Sal embodied or have Sal living inside you wanting to get out, bring them to the auditions and show us who Sal really is. Music and singing experience a plus.
  • Father Christmas - Male-presenting, older; the Victorian British incarnation of St Nicholas, the embodiment of seasonal cheer; must be comfortable interacting with children and their parents.

Historical Characters (please note - if there is a historical character that you are interested in portraying, but we have not listed here, please prepare an audition! While we are looking for these crucial roles listed below, they are not the limit of our casting needs.)

  • Frederick Douglass - Black, male presenting. American social reformer and statesman, charismatic orator, prolific writer on social causes, and abolitionist
  • Anna Murray Douglass - Black, female presenting. American abolitionist, speaker on human rights, member of the Underground Railroad, and Frederick Douglass’ first wife.
  • Ira Aldridge - Black, male presenting. One of the great American actors, showmen and impresarios who enjoyed great success in England and Europe - this role will require the kind of “larger than life” acting style favoured in the 19th century.
  • Anne Lister - Thirties through forties, female presenting. English diarist, renowned for her outspoken independence, and as a sexual identity pioneer. Extremely intelligent and self-taught, Anne was a land-owning (something afforded to few women) gentlewoman.
Date: 09/17/2022 (Sat.)

Time: 10:00am - 3:00pm PDT

Location: Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
1606 Bonita Ave, Berkeley, CA 94709

Created by:   Tara Roberts
 
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