The Dirndl Diaspora

A couture comedy about generational healing…and awakening

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Cuckoo clocks and baby clocks?

Savannah James is racing against time.

Orders are rushing in for her custom couture diversity dirndls. Friends, customers, and a reporter from Germany crowd into her basement studio—but her husband really wants have a talk about starting a family. Really?

Business has been booming since Zendaya wore her dress in Teen Vogue. Suddenly, Savannah’s idea of making ethnic mashups of traditional German party clothes is getting inner cities everywhere excited about Oktoberfest. But she knows more about pleats than business—and now she has to help fight Nazis, too?

Kristen Caven’s hilarious new “spiel show” is about work and creativity, language and secrets, horror stories and fashion fantasies, building positive futures out of complicated pasts, and the beauty of a circle of women.

Oh, and beer. Lots of beer.

Das Tip Jar

Caven wrote this uniquely animated feature film as a stage play for a local Oktoberfest festival. 2020 forced a pivot to a virtual event…so she called in animator Ramona Zetino. Ten women (and one man) record this fast-moving story on whatever devices they had handy, and a talented neighbor even pitched in to create an original theme song. Although the characters are based on a fashion croquis, they are all cut from different cloth, representing the diversity of Germans in diaspora.

Host a Dirndl Diversity Fashion Show in your community!

Sponsored by the Dimond Improvement Association and Oakland’s awesome Oaktoberfest Street festival, the 2020 premiere event (on ZOOM & Vimeo) included an exclusive viewing, a talk with the auteur, a virtual fashion show, plenty of gemutlichkeit, and literary drinking games.

Check out entries & winners of the 2020 Online Oaktoberfest Fashion Show & Dirndl Contest!

Here’s the Facebook Page!Reviews are coming in!

Literary creative Kristen Caven wrote The Dirndl Diaspora because she wanted to start a fashion trend. The granddaughter of German immigrants, Kristen studied German in college to know them better. She instigates polka at Oaktoberfest and hands out funny German words from the pockets of her dirndl. Kristen’s musical, The Souls of Her Feet, has been novelized,  and her short play, Be Mused, won the first Aluminous Flash Mob Theater Contest and was performed at the Lake Merritt Pergola.  A champion of women’s voices, diversity and positivity, and an energetic instigator of creativity, Kristen is the author or co-author of seven books.  She sits on the board of the Berkeley Branch of the California Writers Club and is currently their Writer in Residence at Joaquin Miller Park in Oakland.

Leading ladies of the 2020 Spiel Show


Cast & audience of the 2019 cold read of the play at Oaktoberfest


The #DirndlDiversity prize!

Congratulations to Tina Riggs Gonzalez of Alameda for winning the 2020 #dirndldiversity award. She’d never seen the play, and yet was making goth-inspired dirndls. Tina says, “Thank you sooooo much for putting together the event, the movie and most of all your hard work to make a bright spot in these trying days. And thank you!!! for more mad money for my sewing addiction!”

More Dirndl Resources:

Courtesy Dirndl Enthusiast Jennifer Rosbrugh: (watch our interview here!)

Have you got something to add to this list? Drop me a note! I am especially interested in including Oakland designers!

Free Download: 

Film Freeway! (Screeners, plase contact me for the password)