Christopher Kidder-Mostrom is the artistic director of Commedia Beauregard, the playwright of A Klingon Christmas Carol and will be playing the narrator in this year’s final Chicago production. Since he’s been with the play since the beginning, I thought it would be interesting to hear about his journey with the show and see how KCC has evolved over the years. PLUS: Under the interview, I’ve listed some exciting opportunities to meet a Klingon in person or hang out with cast members!
CSV: So, you’ve been involved in almost every part of KCC from the beginning. Can you tell me a little about what that journey has looked like for you?
CKM: I started this wild journey back in 2007. CommBeau had just come off our 1st show with our new mission to do nothing but translated works. We knew we were going to need an end of the year fundraiser and one of the other board members suggested doing Dickens in Klingon. He thought he was joking, but we wrote it down and 6 months later we were in rehearsals for the first-ever full-length production of a Klingon play. The first year was a one-night-only gala event, but it was so well received that we decided to do it all again the following year. Each year it’s grown and changed. We rewrote the show a total of 13 times before we finally published it.
CSV: What was your relationship with the Star Trek franchise pre-KCC?
CKM: The Next Generation (TNG) premiered when I was in 6th grade, so I grew up alongside that series. But, I wasn’t ever one to go to conventions, or obsess over the characters. Now my relationship with the show is drastically different. I’m still not one who is going to memorize the names of the episodes, but I’ve seen every single one and have friends who were on each of the different series.
CSV: I want to go back to the decision for Commedia Beauregard to exclusively produce translated shows. What inspired that shift?
CKM: At the time, I was attending the University of New Orleans through their low-residency MFA program in playwriting. The best part of that program was that we spent the summers in Madrid, Spain. I discovered that there are so many works being done in other countries and other cultures that we won’t ever really get to know unless they are translated. So, I figured it was a niche we could fit into and do a good job with.
CSV: As someone who wasn’t fully immersed in the Star Trek fandom until you began the project, what was the response from fans you encountered and how did that shape the process for you?
CKM: Fandom has been exceptionally supportive of us. I think that is at least partly because of how we approached writing it. We aren’t doing a show that mocks fandom. It honors the people who have been following Star Trek all along. We also always co-produce the show with a local fan group. Here in Chicago we work with the IKV Spirit of Honor. And in MN we partnered with the IKV Rakehell. Anything that is important to fans is important to me.
CSV: Finally, this is KCC’s final production in Chicago. What do you want the final Chicago audiences to be left with after seeing the show?
CKM: I’m hoping they will leave with the same enthusiasm for the show as they have in the past. It is a show that changes lives. For those of us who are in it, it alters us forever. And for those who see it, it brings a new perspective to the original work. This show affects people in unexpected ways, and I hope that will remain true until all of its incarnations are complete.
Thanks to Chris for chatting with me and for all of his incredible work bringing this show to life over the years; I feel very privileged to help share this story. Below are some upcoming events where you can hang with the cast and even get a picture with a Klingon!
CLUE: The Drinking Game! November 22nd (Next Saturday) 9pm @ The Glenwood.
Join Commedia Beauregard for a staged reading of the 1985 classic mystery comedy “Clue”! Suggest $10 donation helps fund the production and enters you into a raffle for tons of prizes. Come along with us as we find the most ridiculous way to turn this film into a drunken good time.
Adopt-a-Klingon! Adopt a cast member for an official adoption certificate, a picture onstage with your adopted Klingon and a personal letter. Click below to adopt the Klingon of your choice.
More next week!
This is Klingon Christmas Carol’s 5th and FINAL year in Chicago, so tickets will be going quickly! Guarantee your spot by getting tickets in advance at: http://www.tinyurl.com/Klingontickets-2014