Inspecting Carol is a comedic play by Daniel J. Sullivan
, written in 1991 and produced by the Seatle Repertory Theatre
The play is set in a Midwestern regional theater where the play A Christmas Carol
is put on every winter. The theatre company struggles to meet cash flow as its federal funding is cut, and the only way to get the funds back is to convince a government inspector (Betty) that the company deserves the government arts funding. Much of the comedy arises from founding member Larry Vauxhall's outlandish ideas to modernize the traditional Christmas Carol script into a way to raise awareness of Latin American poverty, the unusual warm-ups of Dorothy Tree-Hapgood, the British accent of Cleveland native Sidney Carlton, and the confusion over who the inspector is, culminating in the casting of Wayne Wellacre as Tiny Tim. The theatre group finds themselves in a state of chaos as rehearsals have gone horribly wrong and the true governmental inspector shows up early, forcing the company to put on a thoroughly unprepared performance of A Christmas Carol. The majority of Inspecting Carol's second act is the company attempting to perform A Christmas Carol.