Edge Theater Crosses New Frontier – A Christmas Carol … in Klingon

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The classic tale of Ebenezer Scrooge – a mean and frugal man wishing nothing to do with the world until he is changed when three spirits come to him the night on Christmas Eve – is a holiday theater staple.

The Edge Theater is taking a different approach, however, presenting “A Klingon’s Christmas Carol,” a Star Trek space-alien version of the Dickens classic. And this isn’t just a slight reworking of the play, with all the characters dressed as Klingons. The play is entirely spoken in their language. (Don’t worry: There will be English sub-titles projected on the stage.)

The show runs for two weeks, from Thursday, Nov. 29 to Thursday, Dec. 16. The Edge Theater is located at 5451 N. Broadway.

Theater-goers can expect a story close to the original, except, you know, with Klingons acting like Klingons and speaking Klingon.

Director John Gleason Teske said it is the interpretation of Klingon culture that sets this work apart from the original. He described Klingons as “a warrior race” that is “way more about honor, righteousness, and ultimately connection,” than the Dickensian characters in the original.

He noted, for example, that fighting is a major part of the Klingon lifestyle. So a famous party scene that features a big dance number is reinterpreted as a bar fight. In another party scene, “little quippy word games” are replaced by “more fights,” he said.

Actor Matt Calhoun, who plays the Klingon version of Bob Cratchit, described his reimagined relationship with Klingon Scrooge.

“Cratchit is more of a dutiful soldier,” he said. The character “is going to follow him tooth and nail, really based on whatever he tells him to do.”

Dickens’ Cratchit follows Scrooge out of fear of losing his job. For the Klingon version, it’s a matter of duty and honor.

The play is a production of E.D.G.E. of Orion. The acronym stands for “Esteem Development Through Greater Expectations,” and the program uses theatre arts “to educate and entertain to foster the tools of social change,” according to the program’s website.

“EDGE of Orion has a goal of finding every participant’s personal best and holding them accountable to it.  EDGE of Orion’s main thrust is developing theatre for marginalized communities and to bring a message of non-violence, civic, and social change through exploration of the theatre arts,” according to the website.

The play won’t be the only slice of Klingon life offered to viewers, at least during the opening week.

“We have Klingon Pop Warrior doing a small concert on our gala night (Thursday, Nov. 29),”E.D.G.E of Orion instructor Orion Couling said. “On Friday the 30th we have Rax Geek who is doing a really awesome Star Trek-inspired dance.”

The Saturday, Dec. 1, performance will feature Dr. Jeremy Cowen, a linguistic expert, who will teach how to swear in Klingon, Couling said. And Couling himself will talk before Sunday’s show about the bat’leth, a Klingon fighting weapon.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to the name of the actor playing Bob Cratchit. He is, as the story now correctly states, Matt Calhoun. We regret the error.

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