to the California Center
for the Arts!

Sherlock Holmes and the Case
of the Christmas Angels

Art Animates Life
and Art Animates Life Films

North County Players

Mark Twain's A Christmas Carol

Passage Into Fear

Charles Dickens' It's a
Wonderful Life

Sky Takes a Bite Out of Crime

Mr. Scrooge & Mr. Dickens

All the Time in the World

Art Animates Life and
North County Players'
Facebook page

Charles Caratti's LinkedIn page


Art Animates Life and
North County Players president,
Charles Caratti

Multiple award-winning journalist, author, and playwright Charles Caratti 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 in San Diego 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 company, 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 events and 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 the short film, Sky Takes a Bite Out of Crime

Caratti's newest work, Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Christmas Angels, will be staged Dec. 2019 at the California Center for the Arts Escondido.

Caratti wrote and directed a new take on America's most-beloved holiday tale, It's a Wonderful Life. Titled Charles Dickens' It's a Wonderful Life, the play adds twists and surprises from Dickens himself.

Caratti wrote and directed a brand new adaptation of the beloved Dickens classic, A Christmas Carol, which has been performed in theaters throughout Southern California 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 stage thriller, Passage Into Fear, was written in the tradition of classic Alfred Hitchcock and Agatha Christie. The play is set on board a train during the waning days of World War I. Passage Into Fear was originally performed in partnership with CSU San Marcos and the San Marcos Historical Society, the San Marcos Civic Center, and Patio Playhouse Theatre. In 2018, Passage was performed 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. Primitive by today's standards, 3DHouse was one of the first virtual reality programs ever created, enjoying 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 at his hometown high school as a journalism teacher and adviser.

Email Charles