'A Klingon Christmas Carol' Translates Dickens' Scrooge Fable to 'Star Trek' Universe for Fifth Chicago Season
Chicago holiday revelers in search of something a little different this winter can once more take in A Klingon Christmas Carol, Commedia Beauregard's Trekkie version of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol. The show's five-year mission to Chicago is coming to an end this holiday season, with a final production from December 4-21.
Written by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom and Sasha Warren, A Klingon Christmas Carol is the first play ever to have been performed entirely in the Klingon language. The made-up tongue was developed for the Star Trek universe by Marc Okrand from basic elements created by actor James Doohan ("Scotty") for the first Trek film, 1979's Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
Birthed as a one-time fundraiser in 2007, A Klingon Christmas Carol became popular, and three years later, when it was expanded and played its first Chicago engagement, Okrand himself was engaged to introduce new Klingon words just for the show. (The language is actually called "tlhIngan Hol," as obsessive Trekkers know.)
Directed by Catie O'Donnell Glogovsky, the show has, according to a blog post by cast member Caity-Shea Violette, "a ton of fight choreography, prosthetic foreheads restricting the use of our foreheads/eyebrows to convey expressions," and a central character who is a puppet.
It is "performed in the Original Klingon with English Supertitles, and narrative analysis from The Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology."
The mission of St. Paul-born, Chicago-based Commedia Beauregard is "to translate the universal human experience to the stage: to expand our horizons and share knowledge of all cultures, translating between languages and between arts to create theater that is beautiful in expression." With A Klingon Christmas Carol the company demonstrates its full commitment to sharing knowledge of all cultures, even fictional ones.
The company's conception of "translation" is a broad one, too: as part of its Master Works Series, for example, this past spring it presented dramatic translations of the paintings of Edgar Degas.
May it live long and prosper.