A Klingon Christmas Carol is out of this world! This is the traditional Dickens holiday tale with Scrooge, ghosts, and Tiny Tim, but with a major twist: it's in Klingon (the language from the Star Trek television shows and movies.
The official blurb that we use to promote the show goes like this:
"Scrooge has no honor, nor any courage. Can three ghosts help him to become the true warrior he ought to be in time to save Tiny Tim from a horrible fate? Performed in the Original Klingon with English Supertitles, and narrative analysis from The Vulcan Institute of Cultural Anthropology... The Dickens classic tale of ghosts and redemption adapted to reflect the Warrior Code of Honor and then translated into tlhIngan Hol (That's the Klingon Language)."
Written by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom and Sasha Walloch, A Klingon Christmas Carol was first performed in Saint Paul, MN in 2007. This year (2013) marks the 8th time that Commedia Beauregard has produced the play (4 times in MN, 4 times in Chicago... 2010 had shows in both cities).
In every production prior to this year, the show has looked basically the same. The show was done on a bare stage with a table, 4 chairs, and a coat rack. The costumes were reminiscent of ancient warriors from Earth's middle ages and before... with a hint of Klingon flair.
The goal this year is to make the show unlike it has ever been before: A new multi-level set, new costumes that blend Victorian England with Klingon aesthetics (think steam-punk-Klingon), a new much smaller venue that creates an up-close intimate experience, new fights, new sound-scape... everything is being redone from the ground up.
Because we're reinventing the whole production from the ground up, we're adding things like a set! We've never had a set before! And we're creating completely reimagined costumes. New heads and wigs are on the table, too! Let's break it down numbers-wise:
- Costumes = $2,500 -- We have an awesome Costume designer named kClare Kemock. She designed our costumes for "Bard Fiction" which combined Jacobian England and 1990's Movie style in each outfit. Now she's doing a similar thing with mashing-up Victorian era clothing with a sense of Klingon style!
- Sets = $1,000 -- Set designer Ian Mostrom is building a multi-level set with a gritty space-used feel. We'll be able to climb and leap and create new worlds unlike ever before. And it'll feel a bit like Firefly meets 11th Doctor TARDIS meets Andromeda meets Mad Max! Awesome!
- Wigs & Prosthetic Foreheads = $750 -- A completely new cast (including a new Scrooge!) means new forehead appliances and the wigs that go along with them.
This campaign is only for the major parts of the production that are being overhauled. Most of our expenses are covered by ticket sales (Please buy tickets!). We are not asking for money to pay for actor stipends, designer stipends, venue rent, rehearsal space, new weapons, publicity and advertising, tech staff, printing, lighting equipment, sound and music, etc.
The CompanyCommedia Beauregard is a small professional theatre company that recently became a resident company of the West Stage of the Raven Theatre Complex in Chicago, Illinois.
We have been around since 1999 (starting in Minneapolis/Saint Paul) and have put up 30 productions over the last 14 years. Since 2011 we have been HQ'd in Chicago.
Here's our mission statement:
"Our mission 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."
What does that mean? Well, normally we do plays that are translated from foreign languages into English. Sometimes we experiment with what it means to translate, and we end up with a play based on a painting, or a ballet based on an essay. And then, once a year, we do a play that is translated into tlhIngan Hol (the Klingon language).
As mentioned above, we are a small theatre company. Really small. The press that this play gets every year can make it look like we're a ridiculously successful group. And in one way we are: we get to create wonderful theatre and awesome projects that people seem to enjoy when they attend. That being said, while we are committed to paying the artists, actors, and designers with whom we work, we're not making money at this. So we need your help.
Including this year's cast, over 90 people have learned to act in Klingon through this production since 2007. It's safe to say it is unlike any other production they've been in. It is demanding and challenging, and makes lifelong friends out of the people who have gone through the process.
And it does special things to the audience, too. Our goal is to affect people, and while it may seem like a play that is essentially a parody has little chance to change the world, we aim to do just that. The people who come to see this show get a live theatrical experience that cannot be replicated. There are audience members who come back year after year. We're now part of a holiday tradition for some families.