The Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party

Banner-Vendors and Performers

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a theatrical re-creation of nineteenth-century London with all the charm and merriment of Christmas during the time of Charles Dickens. The air is filled with enticing aromas of festive foods and the sounds of street vendors hawking their wares. The lively streets bustle with characters from Dickens' A Christmas Carol, David Copperfield, Nicholas Nickelby, &c, not to mention Mr. Dickens himself.

The magic of the Dickens Fair, and what sets it apart, is the highly participatory theatrical setting we create together and the sense of ensemble and Christmas spirit put forth by all participants. All actors and booth workers are asked to maintain the theatrical illusion by staying in costume and learning a bit of Victorian speech/dialect.

Performing at the Fair

The Great Dickens Christmas Fair is a bustling theatrical environment, combining the magic of the traditional holiday season with the writings of Charles Dickens and a rich tapestry of Victorian England. The Fair is a giant environmental theatre, one of the largest and most complex in the world, involving a combination of stage performances, environmental areas, and improvisational acting in the streets of our “London.” 

For those interested in performing at the event as an individual or joining a group, please email [email protected] to be added to the list for audition notification.

There will be two general auditions prior to the Workshops:

  1. Stage Shows & Roles auditions, Saturday August 27th in Pacifica. Sign-up and detailed information here.
  2. Historical and literary characters auditions: Saturday September 17, 2022, Berkeley Ca. Email [email protected] to RSVP. You can find the SignUpGenius page here, and the casting notice here.

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.

Proposals for New 2022 Entertainment Shows & Groups

Instructions: Please download and fill in the below PDF form. If you fill it out by hand, please write legibly, scan, and email. Illegible forms will be returned for editing. Completed proposals should be emailed to [email protected]. Thank you!

The Show & Group Proposal deadline was May 20th, 2022. You may still submit a proposal for early consideration for 2023, or as an alternate for 2022.

Working at the Fair

Interested in working at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair?

There are a number of ways you can “work the Fair.” You can get a job in a catering booth, a beverage stand, a crafts booth, a games booth, or in event operations areas such as stage management, maintenance, security and customer service.

If you are interested in working in a booth please attend Hiring and Registration day. 

On Saturday October 29th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, there will be an opportunity to meet department heads, learn of available positions, and complete job applications or registration. A Job Board will have job openings for working in a crafts, catering, or beverage stand, and other areas mentioned above. Come to the main entrance of the Cow Palace and proceed to the “South Hall,” to the right of the main arena.

For jobs in Event Operations such as Security, Parking, or Maintenance, Stage Management, please email: [email protected]

For jobs in Production such as Carpentry, Design, Plumbing, Electrics, or general Production assistance,  please email: [email protected]

How to Apply to Be a Vendor

If you are interested in applying to be a vendor/merchant/artisan, please read the information below. 

First-time vendors should be aware that this is a highly themed juried craft show, presented within a theatrically immersive environment.

for Returning Merchants:

Please see the Returning Merchant Application (PDF).

for New Merchants:

Before You Apply:
  1. Please note that you must have previously attended the Fair in order to be eligible for consideration as a vendor.
  2. Read through the application for rules and regulations: New Merchant Application (PDF)
  3. Study the videos and photo galleries on our website for ideas and scope of the project:
  4. Make sure your product is in keeping with the handmade Victorian ideal by studying the images of vendor crafts on our vendor listings.
  5. Review the Victorian Costuming Guidelines.
  6. Review the booth building guidelines and the electrical guidelines.
  7. Read through our guide to Speaking with a Victorian Accent.

Please email [email protected] for further information.