Stage Left Spoofs ‘Star Trek’ in Original Christmas Play

LISBON, Ohio – Kandace Cleland came up with her first “Star Trek” stories when she was a 12-year-old babysitter trying to amuse her younger siblings.

She draws on her love of the original series in her newest play, “A Star Trek Christmas,” which premieres Friday at Stage Left Players’ Trinity Playhouse. Cleland also directs the comic play, which spoofs the iconic TV show.

“I want the audience to feel like they are watching a holiday episode of ‘Star Trek,’” she said.

The cast includes Kevin Schreffler, Aaron Hinchcliffe, Jacob Ward, Paul Dahman, Paige Johnson, Christine Martin, Marshall Hall, Kari Beil, Brady Duncan, Ethan Rudibaugh, David Humphrey, Mark Hall, Dylan Mauch, Renee Marple Schreffler and Tessa Young.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Dec. 9, 10 and 16; and 2 p.m. Dec. 11 and 18. The theater is at 234 E. Lincoln Way. For tickets click HERE.

Cleland discussed her play in this exchange:

QUESTION: I can sense that the play is silly, maybe a bit slapstick, offbeat and hilarious. What is the plot?

ANSWER: You nailed it. As the story begins, Star Fleet has assigned Captain Kirk and his crew to holiday surveillance duty of the class M mining planet Borz 5 in remote Sector 11 – which is Santa’s sole supply of coalamite in the galaxy. All is calm, all is bright as the Starship Enterprise maintains standard orbit until the Klingons show up with a scheme to get their names off the naughty list and destroy the coalamite supply.

QUESTION: Are the original “Star Trek” characters in the play?

ANSWER: Kirk, Spock, Bones, Sulu, Scotty, Sulu, Uhura, Chekov and Nurse Chapel are all there. Plus a few expendable “red shirts,” hot aliens, Klingons and a bartender we have fun with. And Santa, of course. 

QUESTION: Do you play off their personality traits? Is it easy to spoof Star Trek characters?

ANSWER: “Saturday Night Live” has been doing this for years, and there’s the movies “Space Balls” and “Galaxy Quest” for inspiration. But I wrote and direct this play with respect for these icons. Oh, we do have fun with them, but their hearts and souls are intact. I want “Star Trek” fans to find every moment they are looking for: a space battle with the Klingons, a bar fight… everything from “Dammit, Jim” to “Live Long and Prosper.” And once I decided that everyone on the Enterprise and the Klingons believed in Santa (except for Spock who finds this notion highly illogical) the plot appeared and the story came to life – especially with my cast, who brought their genius to the formula.

QUESTION: Did you create a set that looks like bridge of The Enterprise?

ANSWER: Yes. It has all of the iconic elements you need to see –   a cool captain’s chair, those sci-fi chairs for Sulu, Chekov, Uhura and Spock. The red elevator doors that open and swoosh on cue. I struggled trying to figure out how to create the controls and consoles that could move when the set had to instantly become the pub, sick bay or the transporter room, but I’m really excited with our solution, which relies on projection and audience imagination.

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