The Dickens Christmas Fair, a San Francisco Bay Area favorite for over 33 years (created by Red Barn Productions), has been home to several Aeronaut Productions ventures. In 2012, the management of the Dickens Fair wanted to add some special touches to their event in celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth. One of these changes was a complete overhaul of their theatrical presentation of “A Christmas Carol”.
The Dickens Fair is a show with over 750 interactive performers and is full of theatrical environments that immerse guests into the world of 19th Century London during Christmas. We were commissioned to make the world of Ebeneezer Scrooge an interactive, yet economical, set to better highlight the performances of the show – which is meant to surround the audience for 9 straight hours.
So, Peter designed a 12′ x 12′ stage. He was inspired by the set design for the 1981 production of Stephen Sondheim’s “Sweeny Todd”, in which the set moved, and turned, and transformed to represent a plethora of locations. On this 12’x12′ platform Pete designed the set with a “fireplace” that would fold up and down like a hideaway bed, curtains on a series of tracks that could separate the space for each scene (or, just serve as bed curtains), and a light system that would be self-contained.
Here are the blueprints.
Next, Pete spent some time mocking up the set in a 1/12 scale model.
Once the model and blueprints were complete, production began in Red Barn Productions warehouse facility (Construction by Miguel – Painting & Finishing by Tabbitha).
The set was completed and installed for the 2012 Dickens Fair, and was met with great satisfaction from both the audience, and the performers who enjoyed the versatility of the set…as well as the acoustic properties which made their performances cut through the throng of guests visiting the show. This was just one of many theatrical designs that the Aeronaut team has had the pleasure of working on.