‘A Klingon Christmas Carol’ headed to ECC

Published: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013 9:14 a.m. CDT

ELGIN – A play that’s headed to Elgin Community College this weekend will put a science-fiction twist on the classic tale, “A Christmas Carol.”

On Saturday, the college will host “A Klingon Christmas Carol” for one night only, and it will be performed in Klingon, a language extrapolated from the “Star Trek” TV series. The play will be performed by the Chicago-based Comedia Beauregard theater company, said Susan Kepley, manager of marketing and patron services for the Elgin Community College’s Arts Center.

Clare Ollayos, member of the ECC Board of Trustees who also is making a guest appearance in Saturday’s play, was instrumental in bringing the show to Elgin.

Ollayos said she and her husband, who are both Star Trek fans, had seen the play in Chicago, and it was something they both really enjoyed. She said the interpretation is “hilarious” because it infuses the Klingon culture into “A Christmas Carol.” The play is done completely in the Klingon language, with English superscript displayed in text above the stage, she said. The characters have Klingon names – Scrooge goes by SQuja’ and Jacob Marley goes by marlI’, for example.

Ollayos said in the Klingon culture, honor is above everything, and “you have to earn your honor through a right of passage.”

“The story is that Scrooge cheated on his right of passage, and Marley comes back to haunt him and tell him that if he doesn’t change, he’s doomed to dishonor for all eternity,” she said, noting that it’s a family-friendly show. “Most of it’s hilarious and occasionally touching.”

Because of her efforts to bring the play to ECC, Ollayos gets to put on full Klingon makeup and play a small part as Mrs. Fezziwig, Scrooge’s employer. She will say one line in Klingon, that – when translated to English – will be, “when threatened, we fight.”

Ollayos, performed for more than 30 years in the “Nutcracker Ballet” production as the Magician at Hemmens Cultural Center in Elgin.

She also served as co-chair of the grand opening event of the ECC Arts Center in 1994. She said “A Klingon Christmas Carol” fits with ECC’s conception of the arts.

“The tagline for ECC is ‘do art differently,’ ” Ollayos said. “I think it will be one of the more fun and unusual Christmas offerings.”

If you go

What: “A Klingon Christmas Carol” performance

Where: The Elgin Community College’s Blizzard Theatre, 1700 Spartan Drive, Building H, Elgin

When: at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday

Tickets are $32. To purchase tickets, visit tickets.elgin.edu or call 847-622-0300.