Art Animates Life
and Art Animates Life Films

North County Players

Mark Twain's A Christmas Carol

Passage Into Fear

It's a Wonderful Christmas Carol

Watch our Young Filmmaker short!

Art Animates Life and
North County Players'
Facebook page

Charles Caratti's LinkedIn page

Mr. Scrooge & Mr. Dickens

All the Time in the World


Art Animates Life and
North County Players president,
Charles Caratti

Multiple award-winning author Charles Caratti (Carr) has written literally thousands of newspaper articles, magazine stories, and columns for the San Diego Union Tribune, The Orange County Register, The Reader, The Times-Advocate, The Californian, The North County Times, Digital Trends, ComputorEdge, Parent Magazine, and many other publications. Over two-plus decades he has covered a diverse range of topics including pesticide use at So Cal schools, invasive background checks for county volunteers, the debate over standards-based grading, Southern California's devastating wildfires, and countless others. Caratti has also edited several magazines and is a noted television producer/director with documentaries currently airing and/or in production on Cox Cable and elsewhere. Charles recently began a new column, titled Southpaw (archived here), for which he won a 2018 San Diego Press Club award for opinion/commentary.
Many of Caratti's stories, articles, and essays have been published nationally. In the fall his work will be included in the textbook "America Now" published by Bedford/St. Martin's/Macmillan Learning.

Caratti has also been commissioned to write and/or direct many of his own stage plays. Thousands of So Cal residents have attended his shows.

A decade ago, Charles, his wife Marsi Carr, and others looking for ways to help organizations struggling in difficult economic times founded Art Animates Life, a CA incorporated, federally tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization.

Art Animates Life and its award-winning theatrical offshoot North County Players have raised tens-of-thousands of dollars for San Diego area charities including a disaster relief agency, arts nonprofits, a municipal art gallery, veterans' relief funds, a community outreach center, a historical society, and several struggling community theaters, among others. Thousands of So Cal residents have attended North County Players productions.

AAL's filmmaking offshoot, Art Animates Life Films, is a multiple award-winning independent studio. Works created by current and past members include Hooked (San Diego Children's Film Festival), Boy on the Moon (iVIE first place, Fallbrook Film Festival featured selection), Sins of the Father (iVIE first place, VCTV Film of the Year), Mystery High (iVIE, VCTV Storyteller of the Year, Fallbrook Film Festival featured selection), and the stage-to-movie production Auditioning Truths and Lies. It's newest production, Sky Takes a Bite Out of Crime, part of AAL's Young Filmmaker Series, was named a featured selection at the 2017 San Diego International Kids' Film Festival.

Click to watch our newest short film, Sky Takes a Bite Out of Crime

Caratti adapted and directed America's most-beloved holiday tale (It's a Wonderful
Christmas Carol
) and added twists and surprises from Charles Dickens himself.

Caratti adapted and has directed the beloved Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol at theaters throughout Southern California. The play has been staged annually to packed houses including Bates Nut Farm (in the round, in a circus tent!), San Diego's Balboa Park, Patio Playhouse, the Poway Performing Arts Center, the Park Avenue Center, Connors Hall, and the San Marcos Civic Center.

Caratti's newest stage thriller is in the tradition of classic Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie. Titled, Passage Into Fear, the play is set on board a train during the waning days of World War I. Passage Into Fear was orginally performed in partnership with CSU San Marcos and the San Marcos Historical Society, then San Marcos Civic Center, and Patio Playhouse Theatre. In 2018, Passage was performed to at San Diego's Balboa Park in conjunction with a series of centennial observances of the Great War.

Caratti's original stage play, All the Time in the World, has garnered broad acclaim from audiences and critics alike. The drama/mystery has been performed at the Maxine Theater's Staples Center, the Escondido Municipal Gallery, and the Charity Wings Arts Center.

In the 1990s, Charles wrote 3DHouse, a complete inside-and-out virtual reality tour of his family's log home in Southern California. One of the first virtual reality programs ever created, 3DHouse enjoyed tens of thousands of shareware downloads on all major portals. He also sold the rights to Radio Shack and Egghead Software. 3DHouse has since been featured in many books and was featured at the Berkeley Hall of Science for thousands of visitors annually.

A professional musician for more than 20 years, Caratti's guitar playing and arranging have been featured on many recordings. He toured both in and out of the country before settling down in San Diego's North County with his wife, Marsi, and their two children Sammi and Alex. He has repeatedly taken top honors in San Diego Songwriter's Guild competitions for his original musical compositions.

Charles has won many writing accolades, including San Diego Press Club awards for Best Column Writing, Best Consumer Writing, and Best Arts and Entertainment. He also edits stories and articles written by others for major local and national publications.

Since its inception, Caratti has produced the Fallbrook International Film Festival's red carpet event and panel discussions.

Charles has been a contributor and technical advisor to L.A. and San Diego Parent magazines and receives many requests each year to appear on Southern California television and radio stations to talk about important events.

Caratti is author of What a World, a collection of vignettes chronicling twenty years in the San Diego backcountry. He enjoys speaking from time-to-time to schools and organizations about his eclectic life in the arts and volunteers as a journalism teacher at his hometown high school.

Email Charles