The entertainment at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire spans 12 different performance areas and all the streets in between! You’ll find daredevil acrobats, soulful musicians, side-splitting comedians, three full-contact jousts, and hundreds of performers who bring the city of Deptford to life!
Although unusual, scheduled acts may change due to weather, illness, or Her Majesty’s whim.
The Stage Schedules will be posted the Wednesday before each weekend.
The ASL Interpreted Schedules will be posted the Thursday before each weekend.
The Queen’s College Schedules will be posted the Thursday before each weekend.
Those rascally gnomes have again invaded Port Deptford! They cleverly hide in our shops and guild yards during the daytime, but at night they come out and play mischievous tricks on us. We must find these gnomes so we can stop the mayhem!
You can help us find them by picking up a list of likely Gnome locations at one of the Guest Services booths. Then when you find them, have the shop owners make a mark upon your list.
When you have found enough gnomes, turn in your list to earn a frameable certificate that declares that you are a Gnome Hunter Extraordinaire. This certificate entitles you to a Special Edition Collectible Pewter Gnome Pin from Fellowship Foundry at a deep discount, which is awarded only to successful Gnome Hunters. There is a different pin each season. Start collecting them now!
Entertainment STAGE SHOWS
Aaron Bonk is seriously ridiculous. With a twisted sense of humor and stupefying acts of danger, he risks his life to amaze and amuse the whole family in his world renown stunt spectacular. Machetes, whips, swords, and fire–the hottest show in all the ‘shire!
Ad Hoc Consort
Throughout the shire, you can hear the dulcet tones of our period instruments: recorders, krumhorns, sackbuts & others. Come experience the true sounds of the English Renaissance!
Brandon Scott – The Wizard of Wonder
Whimsically amazing, part wizard, part fool, Renaissance magician The Wizard of Wonder brings us a new show sprinkled with optical illusions, comedy magic, myth, and lore. A fun, adventurous high energy interactive stage show for all ages. Laugh and be amazed. Check stage schedules and take a journey into the realm of wonder and imagination.
NEWLY RETURNING – Brigid’s Daughters
(April 16, 17, 23 & 24)
Brigid’s Daughters, featuring Colleen Russell and Stephanie Molen, will delight you with love songs from seven different languages written in the Medieval and Renaissance eras. This year, they are excited to share the stage with instrumentalists from a Faire favorite band, the Story Wrens. Come hear this exciting new blend of string instruments, percussion, and voice.
While cracking bullwhips, juggling bowling balls or eating fire, Broon keeps the laughs alive with a dry wit and extemporaneous style that keeps audiences in stitches. With his variety skills and stand-up comedy style Broon presents a show filled end to end with sly humor and impressive stunts and Broon’s extensive improvisational experience guarantees no two shows will be exactly alike.
Master Bugle Biggins is a ship’s musician who’s lately retired from a lifetime at sea. So he’s come to Deptford to entertain and amuse you with tales of his adventures, and to enchant you with soulful melodies on the harp and tin whistle.
Clan MacColin Irish Dance
Featuring the award-winning step dancers from the Guild of St. Andrews, this highland fling stirs the “inner Celt” in us all.
An enchanting kaleidoscope of skills from around the world performed to live music. An impressive variety of juggling skills, stage magic, comedy, Central Asian/Middle Eastern dance, sword swallowing, fire-eating and tight-wire walking with an accompanying musical soundscape played on an eclectic variety of instruments. Fun for the whole family!
Country Garden Dancers
A high-energy troop of English country dancers roams through the Faire in a swirling flash of color and sound. Perchance these lively lads and lasses may show you a step or two!
NEW – Ded Bob
“Dedly” Humor! Bob and his faithful dummy Sluj use unsuspecting audience members to assist in Mischievous & Outrageous Comedy! The hardest working cadaver in show business is here with all matters bawdy and profane. Corpse comedy and audience interaction at their finest!
NEW – Dora Viellette
Dora Viellette will take you through time with an intriguing array of music on the hurdy-gurdy. From classics of the Medieval and Renaissance to traditional Celtic and Folk favorites, her blend of sounds and songs will tempt your ears, make you want to stay for a spell, and leave you wanting to hear more.
Draiku – Aerial Dancer
Suspended above Deptford from her flowing silks, Draiku’s aerialist puts on an impressive and unique performance full of stunning visuals and breathtaking moments. Prepare to be awed and entertained by her grace and elegance!
The Freestylers of Piping
Bagpipes are so much more than amazing grace! Feast your ears on the creative improvisations that flow through the familiar tunes of The Freestylers of Piping and you’ll never think of pipes the same way again.
The Jousters are excited to bring their fully-armored, hard-hitting, and wholly unique style of jousting to the Faire. This is true sport; every lance break and shield shatter achieved is done in an authentic quest for victory! Come, cheer for majestic steeds and noble knights as they compete for The Golden Chain of Port Deptford!
The Lynx Show
The Lynx Show is a unique blend of magic, sword swallowing, and comedy. Lynx is a veteran when it comes to performing at Renaissance festivals across the country. Not only is there audience interaction and participation but a strong positive message at the end. From death-defying feats of amazement to bewildering moments that just can’t be explained, The Lynx Show is sure to thrill you! So, don’t miss out and be part of the fun!
NEWLY RETURNING – Merlin the Magician
This faire veteran conjures up magic, mirth, and imagination with a highly interactive blend of illusion, humor, and audience participation. This all-ages show will be featured 4 times a day, check your schedule. Additionally, keep your eyes open for Merlin’s “Street Magic Experience” performed right before your very eyes on the lanes of our shire.
MooNie the Magnif’Cent
Enchanting audiences for over 20 years without saying so much as a word, MooNie is the undisputed master of the Faire. MooNie presents a show that combines classic clowning, slack rope work, and enough comedy to leave you gasping for breath. Enter the mind of MooNie.
The Merry Wives of Windsor
These Lusty Serving Wenches return to the Faire serving bawdy songs and plenty of good cheer! NC-17 when performing on the Rogue’s Reef Stage. PG-13 when performing on the Golden Jubilee Stage.
This self-described “drinking group with a singing problem” will delight you with their bawdy songs and naughty antics. NC-17 when performing on the Rogue’s Reef Stage. PG-13 when performing on the Royal Music Stage.
The Raven, the black feathered birdman, flies on top of a ball. He swoops down and invites the audience into his world of “eggs-traordinary” magic.
Seraphim Arabesque Ensemble
From across the ocean of fire, the Silk Road carried them, like the desert D’jinn they were born of the sand. Blending music and dance from throughout the Middle East, these performers will take to you on a journey to exotic and ancient lands. The rhythm of the drums is infectious, the melody of the Oud will enchant you, and the dancers will make your heart race.
Sit back and enjoy as they invite you behind the veil of the harem.
A Southern California folk band formed in 2006 with a heavy Celtic influence, Sportive Tricks takes traditional music and gives it a rousing twist. From traditional sing-alongs to folk-rock to sea chanteys to original songs, the seven members of Tricks create a foot-tapping good time.
The Story Wrens
(April 16, 17, 23 & 24)
Traditional songs of England, Scotland, and Ireland, accompanied by tenor mandolin, whistle, fiddle, bass, and other instruments. Celtic harper, Shawna, was the winner of the All-Ireland contest and has performed with the Chieftains. Winners of the LA Critic Awards’ “Best Folk Album 2012.”
NEW – Supernova the Strongwoman
Pushing her muscles to the limit, Supernova the Strongwoman amazes audiences with insane feats of strength, daredevil acrobatics, and the wanton destruction of perfectly good steel! The whole family can join this cyclone of comedy and demolition!
Tea and Strumpets
(Every Faire Day except May 14 & 15)
Imagine yourself enjoying a nice “cup of tea” at the Tea & Strumpets Tea House. Just your average village tea house… with a twist! Join Chamomile, Peppermint, Ginger, Rosella, Lavender, Magnolia, Sakura and of course Mr. Earl Grey for the rowdiest band stage show of the year. The “Strumpets” love to sing and dance and entertain with their array of family-friendly or for the more adult crowd audiences.
(May 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 & 22)
Playful, bawdy, and unabashed, the Tortuga Twins (all three of them) will return for two fun-filled weekends! Their special blend of stage comedy and audience participation has been labeled “Asthma-Attack Inducingly Funny.” Be warned. Rated PG-13.
The Washing Well Wenches
“Wet Dirty Women, Good Clean Fun!” These two wacky wenches prove that a good scrubbing and lots of belly laughs are good for the soul! Doing laundry has never been so much fun!
Wiggins Faerie Lore Magician
Magician, storyteller, and human ambassador to the faerie realm. While Wiggins seems to be a human fantasy jukebox, his true agenda is educating folk in the needs of the little people and getting himself elected again. He is recognizable by his very large mushroom, the smallest stage in the shire. If you don’t believe in faeries before you have met Wiggins, you most likely will after!
Willy Nilly’s One Man Shakespeare
This isn’t your great, great, great, great, grandfather’s Shakespeare. These wild, hilarious shows sweep the audience up in action, romance, and laughter. Willy Nilly plays all the characters in fast, comic versions of Shakespeare’s classics, with sword fights and sock puppets. Fun for the whole family!
Guilds and Troupes
The guilds & troupes of the Renaissance Pleasure Faire are performance groups portraying various facets of Elizabethan life. Click on the name to go to their official website, where available. Contact information is available if you’d like more information on joining or auditioning for that Guild or Troupe.
The ASL Interpreters of the Southern California Renaissance Pleasure Faire
We provide interpreting services for our Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing (HoH) guests. Stage shows, shopping, directions, etc. are all covered to allow the best show possible. A schedule of Interpreted shows is given to all information booths, for each Faire day. Each stage board also will have the interpreter symbol with a list of interpreted shows. There will be an interpreter stationed at the info booth near the feasting commons to facilitate communication for Faire information. We will also provide interpreters for any Deaf/HoH person who would like to work at the Faire, for their workshops or on-site meetings with their guild/booth. If an emergency occurs on-site and an interpreter is needed, we do that too! We are here to make your Faire experience the best it can be!
Several years ago a mentorship/internship program was instituted where Interpreters who are looking for something new and different can be involved as well as Interpreting students can get school credit for their work. This program has been very successful in helping them to fulfill their practicum requirements. We are very excited to have been providing interpreting services to the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire since the mid-’80s.
Are you interested in having an interpreter with you for the day to interpret for you and our Marketplace vendors, interactions in the street, or other non-stage interpreting? Contact the director of the ASL interpreters for setting up this free service! We look forward to seeing you at the Faire!
Director: Tabatha King
Country Garden Dancers
This dance troupe performs high-energy, exhilarating dance in the English Country tradition — including both authentic period dances and original pieces — in bright and colorful stage shows. CGD also continues the ancient and hallowed tradition of dancing around the Maypole as a celebration of springtime and revelry.
Directors: Jose Lavarreda and Alicia Verstynen
The Court Of Misrule – Fool’s Guild
These boisterous and punny fools bring wit to the city! Demand to hear their arsenal of jokes or challenge them in friendly banter and YOU could be crowned King Fool for the day.
Director: Daniel Oritz
Even in the most festive villages, the Plague could always rear its ugly head and spoil our play. Join these dancers in the street as they trick death away from our Shire and remind us to live each day to the fullest.
Director: Bob Fox
The Florentines of San Lorenzo
Florence: The Birthplace of the Italian Renaissance and home to the d’Medici family, infamous leaders of Tuscany; patrons of the finest artists, architects, and scholars; and world-renowned arbiters of style and grandeur. Ambassadors from the d’Medici family have arrived at Port Deptford with a colorful contingent of Italian lords and ladies, soldiers, swordsmen, and artists. Learn the methods and techniques of the rapier and arming sword, enjoy a reading of beauteous Italian literature, watch a Florentine court portrait artist ply his craft, or discover what the Renaissance Florentines knew about herbs, plants, and medicine. As the saying goes, “Everyone wants to be a Medici.” Come see for yourself.
Guildmaster: Rachelle Sanders
Guild of St. Andrews – Clan MacColin
This lively clan of Scottish singers, dancers, musicians, and soldiers demonstrate their slice of life in their interactive camp, entertain with their high-stepping dance show and thrill with their skills in battle on the Tournament field.
Guildmaster: Steve Gillan
Asst. Director: Lonnie Rawlings
Guild of St. Cuthbert – Parades and Pageants
Participating in most of the Faire’s parades each Faire day, we open and close the Faire with a song, escort the Lord Mayor in his parade and accompany Her Majesty the Queen during her Progress throughout Port Deptford.
In addition to parading about, we offer interactive craft classes and demonstrations at our Guild area. Leather crafting for children – learn to work with leather and take home your project. Spinning demonstrations and lessons as well as wool and knitting/crochet supplies.
Our daily highlight is Tea with the Queen at 4:00. Have the opportunity to spend time with Her Majesty and enjoy a full tea service including tea, scones, sandwiches, and tarts. Each adult guest receives a teapot to take home and children receive a teapot charm.
Guildmaster: Sue Honor
Guild of St. Helena – The Commoner’s Guild
We the Common Folk of the Guild of St. Helena’s have set forth upon the city to revel, cavort, caper, parade and otherwise celebrate the visit of our most honored and glorious Queen Elizabeth! We sing, dance, parade, prank, practice our Shakespeare and generally make merry and rejoice with all the visitors to our Port Deptford. Our Country folk residents can also be seen crafting, churning butter, feasting, singing, and playing in Duckbilled-Nippingshire, the lovely little suburb of West Deptford. Come sing, pull a rope, kick a cabbage, work on your prose, throw dice, be a sheep or otherwise frolic with us! This day is ours! Look for the bloomers of the Guild of St. Helena’s. We are an excellent entry into Faire participation and welcome new members.
Guildmaster: Kasey Moran
The Guild of St. Ives – The Townsfolke
The Saint Ives Historical Society (Guild of St. Ives) is celebrating more than a quarter-century at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire! As you enter the Faire, you will see our townsfolk busy about their daily activities. Watch our skilled craftspeople as they spin thread, throw pottery, and create jewelry. Feel the hand-woven wool and linen cloth and braid created in front of you by our master weavers. Trade flirtatious quips with the lovely ladies of the Bell. Watch for dubious characters lurking in the village byways, and cheer on our intrepid Constables as they keep Deptford safe. Hark to the ring of hammers and the lusty voices of the smiths as they pound hot iron into tools and weapons. Listen to the musicians as they play and sing lively Renaissance songs at the Rose & Keys Inn. Play a game with the locals or join in a spontaneous street dance of Sellenger’s Round. Have a word with our street folk, who always have time for a friendly greeting or entertaining tale. Smell the fine aroma of sixteenth-century baking from our cookyard. Share our excitement at the prospect of a visit from our beloved Queen Elizabeth! Do all this and before you know it the Guild of St. Ives will have transported you to the streets of Deptford during the Elizabethan Renaissance on the morning of our spring Pleasure Faire.
Visit our website at www.saintives.com
Guildmaster: Josh Ritter
Guild of St. Michael – The Military
The fierce, hardy soldiers and followers demonstrate life in a camp, carouse the streets, and escort Her Majesty, The Queen. Stop by before 1:00 p.m. and your children can train to march with the Queen’s military and become part of the show at the Queen’s Royal Joust.
Director: Alec Heath Garren
Director: Tom Eason
The Southern California Early Music Consort appears as Norwich Waits at the Renaissance Pleasure Faire as the Queen’s band and the horse tourney fanfare ensemble.
Historically, The Norwich Waits was the band that traveled with Queen Elizabeth when she left London on Progress. The group was famous for its collection of the finest musicians in the British Isles.
Our Norwich Waits can be heard performing all the music for the dances of the Royal Court as well as music for the Call O’the Faire & Queen’s Show at the Main Stage and the Opening Gate Show at the beginning of every Faire day.
Director: Tom Axworthy
Provided with a letter of Marque and in the name of England, they have sailed across the seas. Some call them pirates, but they are proud privateers and are of the sea. They have pillaged many a ship for the glory of her Majesty and now return to land with many riches! These old salts are looking to spend in excess on drinks, gambling, company and maybe a few hearty fights. Be wary when one swaggers by because when a sailor is on leave anything can and will happen.
Make ready your cannons and hail shot!
The Privateers use a mix of historical knowledge and guerrilla improv to create a comedic portrayal of privateering sailors on shore leave.
Director: Ronald Glass
They preach, they shame, they hate the players AND the game. They are the Puritans, and they are the forever-outraged enemies of all things fun. Will you ask them for a blessing, or scandalize them with your merriment? Will you befuddle them with logic, or demand they try your friends as witches? Either way, the Puritans will be sure to share their opinions with everyone…loudly, often, and with great vigor.
Director: Nick Balbas
The Queen’s Court
The Queen’s Court is an ensemble group of hearty volunteers who portray the historical characters who were part of Queen Elizabeth’s court during the first 10 years of her reign. With research, costumes, and a visual environment, they strive to entertain and create a slice of Elizabethan life for customers and participants alike. Their main task is to support the actress who plays Queen Elizabeth and they spend many hours in training and rehearsal to achieve this goal with improvisational theatre techniques.
Guildmaster: Terri Casey
St. Swithin’s Guild – The Village Mongers
The Mongers are outgoing street merchants who will attempt to sell you everything you need for a proper Elizabethan household. At morning and evening markets, they patrol the Faire with wares ranging from fish to fowl and from the fruits of the fields to moderately used clothing. In the middle of the day, they put away their wares and enlighten the crowds with their passion play, The Pageant of the Seven Deadly Sins. Feel free to approach these merchants and ask them about their goods. The Mongers will happily describe the wonders of their wares in an attempt to make the sale.
Guildmaster: David Hind
The Town Criers
The Town Criers of Saint Blaise are known for their boisterous ways. Whether it is ringing bells, frolicking in the streets, crying the news or napping in a pile, the Criers can easily be spied about the Shire in their yellow sashes. Throughout the years, the Criers lead both the Queen and the Lord Mayor to various destinations, as well as delivering the news and gossip of the day. So if you hear our bells and the call of “Make Way!” you know that the excitement is approaching.
Director: David Valdez
St Minerva’s Washer Women
Caution, you may get wet! – Wit, Water & Song fly freely at the washing well. Laundry and laughter is the life-blood of these lively women. The Washing Well has been seen as a slice of daily life for the village where women gather to do their wash, gossip, argue, and laugh.
Director: Michelle O’Brien
Yeomen of The Queen’s Guard
You’ll see them on the streets, dashing young gentlemen dressed in bright red. They are England’s longest standing military unit, the Yeomen of the Guard. They protect the Queen. They protect the nobles. They hunt for spies. And they woo women, oh do they woo women. You’ll find them accompanied by ladies in blue, the Queen’s Household. They protect the men, they hunt for husbands, they woo, too. Do not ask them about their jugs. You’ll find them all at lunchtime, entertaining her Majesty with fine foods, lovely songs, and stories that might make you laugh. Maybe cry.
Guildmaster: Gordon Bradley