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A Klingon Christmas Carol

Cover of the book
A Klingon Christmas Carol is a play by Christopher Kidder-Mostrom and Sasha Warren, translated by Chris Lipscombe in 2007 and published as a book in 2014. This play is a re-construction of the original Klingon story, tlhIngan ram nI' bom ("Klingon song of the long night"), upon which Charles Dickens based his very well-known novella A Christmas Carol.

Performance History

The play was first performed on Dec 8, 2007, in St Paul, Minnesota, and it has played every year since then in St Paul; Chicago, Illinois; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Washington, DC; and Cincinnati, Ohio. The play was expanded in 2010 with a refreshed translation by Chris Lipscombe. (1) The rehearsal process stressed proper pronunciation and also included a 2 day crash course in Klingon grammar.

Washington Performance

A special performance was done on December 15th 2014 by the Washington Shakespeare Company Avant Bard including a special guest appearance of Marc Okrand, playing Scrooge (2)
Actor Personage
Adam R. A. Adkins SQuja' Qup (Young Scrooge) / meb (Guest)
Frank Britton vreD (Fred)
Christian M. A. Campbell wIlqInS (Dick Wilkins) / SuvwI' (Warrior)
Nick DePinto Narrator
Jay Hardee Huch qoy'wI' (Money Collector) / veSIwIq (Fezziwig)
Melissa Hmelnicky Huch qoy'wI' (Money Collector) / Qe'pa (A Youth)
Katie Jeffries SuvwI' (Warrior)
Lily Kerrigan bel (Belle) / SaHHa'ghach (Apathy)
Casey Leffue SuvwI' (Warrior) / meb (Guest)
Briana Manente marDa' (Martha Cratchit) / Qob (A Youth)
Matthew Marcus QachIt (Bob Cratchit) / loDHom (Boy)
Charlene V. Smith DaHjaj qeylIS qa' (Ghost of Kahless Present)
Jos. B. Musumeci, Jr. marlI' (Jacob Marley)
Emily Ocasio pIq qeylIS qa' (Ghost of Kahless Yet-to-Come)
Ethan Ocasio tImHom (Tiny Tim)
Aubri O'Connor Suy (Weapon Merchant)
Marc Okrand SQuja' (Scrooge)
Amal Saade 'emlI' (Mrs. Cratchit) / marja' (Mrs. Fred)
Duyen Washington van (Fannie) / quvHa'ghach (Corruption) / ngevwI' (Seller)
Rachel Wyman ben qeylIS qa' (Ghost of Kahless Past)

Klingon language

The play was first translated by the playwrights and some Klingon speaking friends. It was done quickly in order to fit within the original time frame but contained a number of errors. Once it was decided that the play would not have a one-off run, the playwrights looked for an experienced klingonists to help review the work. They contacted Chris Lipscombe, who reviewed and re-translated large portions of the work. Over the next few years a number of new scenes were added and also translated by Chris. One of those scenes contained new concepts that were not in canon so Marc Okrand was contacted and he supplied those words. Once the final translation was completed, a copy of it was sent to Marc for review. He returned it with no corrections or changes.

Marc Okrand performed the role of SQuja' (see above). At that performance the gender of some characters were changed due to casting choices, which lead to some lines being "wrong" (as Klingon contains relationship words that are based on the genders on the participants) (3). Okrand has also provided program notes for various productions of this play. [citation needed]

Some names in the play appear to be non-grammatical - SQuja', vreD, and wIlqInS - using unusual consonant clusters. It can only be assumed that these are older or regional names, or perhaps were created by the original author for sonic effect.

New words

There were no absolutely new words revealed for this play, but two concepts were give a Klingon way to be expressed:(4)

For "The Final Reflection," tonSaw' Qav "final fighting technique," since "reflection" is a maneuver in a game (is Maltz right about that?). But if "reflection," as in "image in a mirror" is needed, he offered neSlo' tonSaw' Qav.

"apathy" (or "apathy creature") - SaHHa'wI' "one who is not concerned" or pIlHa'wI' "unmotivated one".

"corruption" (or "corruption creature") - quvHa'wI' "dishonored one"

If it works better to to have concepts rather than beings/animals for these words, he offered:

"apathy" SaHHa'ghach ("disinterest")

"corruption" quvHa'ghach ("dishonor")



1 :, Homepage of Commedia Beauregard

2 :,

3 : Message from Rachel Wyman to Lieven L. Litaer, 23 Jan 2015 - Conversation at qep'a' cha'maH cha'DIch between Okrand and Lipscombe

4 : Message to Chris Lipsombe on Facebook, archived on

External Links

Category: Appearance    Latest edit: 09 Jul 2020, by WikiAdmin    Created: 17 Dec 2014 by BradWilson
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