The Great Dickens Christmas Fair
2012 Dickens Character Auditions – August 7th
Company Name: Red Barn Productions
Production Name: The Great Dickens Christmas Fair (www.dickensfair.com)
Audition Dates: At pre-arranged times starting at 7:00PM on the evening of Tuesday August 7th in Pacifica, CA
Details: Various Dickens characters for street improv at the fair, including pivotal role of Ebeneezer Scrooge (paid part) Character list and more info at http://www.cattaylor.com/2012CharacterAuditions.html. Please email Rickie Bolin at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an audition time and get audition location specifics.
We are looking specifically for characters from Mr Dickens’ books. The work that actors playing these parts do is primarily improvisational, interactive theatre with our guests. Although there is some scripted work, it is done in the streets as well.
To prepare for the audition, one should prepare a monologue for either one of the listed characters or another Dickens character of your choice. We are looking as much for specific types as we are looking for specific roles, based on the overall mix of characters working in the streets of the Fair and the requirements of the Fair itself. You may be offered a different role than you auditioned for.
We are looking for physical and theatrical presence and elasticity, not simply the ability to deliver lines. For that reason it is also important to prepare for a cold reading as well as being prepared to do some free-form improvisation.
The book character groups are ensemble casts that pride themselves on showcasing the vast panoply of Dickens’ brilliantly wrought characters. We put the Dickens in Dickens Fair! Dickens’ characters are big, bold and quirky with a lot of theatrical and interactive opportunities, plus tons of scenery to chew. Our lives are one big theatrical and improvisational banquet throughout the day, interacting with our guests and creating scenes from Dickens’ works.
If there is a character in our list of available characters, a role in a Dickens book or adaptation that you want to play (or simply find appealing) prepare a brief piece to read – and act – for the audition team. It will give us a clearer idea of your capabilities and the type of character you want to play.
Auditioning for a Dickens character is like any other theatrical audition – preparation is crucial. When considering auditioning for any of these roles, please take the time to do some research on the character to determine both that it is a role that you would be able to play and something you would enjoy doing. Being prepared also makes it easier for you to show yourself at your best and will make the casting process move more smoothly for all parties.
Although we are not limiting our search to these roles, these are the characters we are specifically interested in casting:
Mrs Bagnet – (middle-aged woman – Bleak House) Sturdy, plucky, resourceful and large-hearted wife of the soldier Matthew Bagnet.
Charlie Bates (teenage boy – Oliver Twist)
The Artful Dodger’s best friend. He’s a little slow on the uptake, and loves a laugh. We need a teenage boy who likes to get dirty and run around causing (choreographed) chaos.
Richard Carstone (young man – Bleak House) the dashing young ward in the Jardyce case, in love with his cousin and fellow ward, Ada Clare
Estella (young woman – Great Expectations) the proud, cold and beautiful adopted daughter of Miss Havisham – the bane of Pip’s existence the object of his adoration
Mrs General (older woman – Little Dorrit) A bastion of propriety and formidably worldly woman given to instructing everyone on what is done
William Guppy (young man – Bleak House) A comical young law clerk
Mrs. Guppy (older woman – Bleak House) Mr. Guppy’s devoted and comical mama
Mr. Monks (middle-aged man – Oliver Twist)
A vicious, mean-minded member of the upper class. Actively attempting to ruin Oliver Twist’s life. We need a man aged 25-39 or thereabouts, who wants to be an opium-addicted, scarred, jerk in fancy clothes.
Seth Pecksniff (older man – Martin Chuzzlewit) comically pretentious, hypocritical “pillar of the community”
Ebeneezer Scrooge (older man – A Christmas Carol) The most famous miser in literature. A powerful man of business (not just a moneylender) who is taken by ghosts on a journey that reconnects him to humanity. This role requires tremendous range and great stamina for both the technical demands of the role and the necessity of constant audience interaction.
Smike (young man – Nicholas Nickleby) troubled and physically challenged dogsbody of the wicked schoolmaster Wackford Squeers and devoted friend the the Nickleby family
Charlotte Sowerberry (young woman – Oliver Twist)
One of Oliver’s first tormentors, Charlotte is lower to middle class. She runs away to London with Noah Claypole after stealing her master’s money. Very protective of her beau, Noah Claypole. We need a young woman aged 18-30 who can look like she just got off the turnip cart.
Wackford Squeers (older man – Nicholas Nickleby) Yorkshire schoolmaster and larger than life villain
Grandfather Trent (older man – Old Curiosity Shop) Little Nell’s weak-willed grandfather. A complex role that will be recreating some of the travels and adventures depicted in the book
Agnes Wickfield (young woman – David Copperfield) devoted daughter and loyal supporter of David Copperfield. Clear-eyed, strong-willed and virtuous
We are looking for energy, commitment, fearlessness and willingness to be part of an ensemble. We are interested in casting a wide variety of characters, ranging across all ages, classes and emotional quirks. We encourage interested parties to read one of the books, or at least view one of the superb adaptations currently available to get a clearer picture of these characters.
Participation in the Dickens Fair book character cast requires the ability to make the time and energy commitment, and the willingness to work in an ensemble cast. If you are cast, it is expected that your commitment to the cast will be your primary performing responsibility. You will be expected to provide your own, Dickens Fair approvable, costume. Most of these roles will be volunteer; the key role of Ebeneezer Scrooge will be a paid position.
For more on being a performer at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair, please see
Character Audition Location & Particulars
Character auditions will be held at pre-arranged times starting at 7:00PM on the evening of Tuesday August 7th, 2012 in Pacifica, CA. Please allow time to find the room and get situated.
(Location particulars will be given when you schedule your appointment)
The character parts listed above 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 would like to audition for one of these roles, please email
Entertainment Department Assistant Rickie Bolin at email@example.com
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 Tuesday August 7th. 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
Here’s a great page to learn more about the characters and the books