Footlight production casts East Cooper residents

  • Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fred DeJaco (Scrooge) PHOTO BY KAYLA STEPHENSON

Photos

At the ripe young age of 8, Porter Spicer has made quite a name for himself in the acting industry.

This Sullivan’s Island Elementary School third grader will make his latest appearance as the star of Footlight Player’s production of a musical interpretation of “A Christmas Carol.”

Spicer, the son of Kevin and Galin Spicer, will star as Tiny Tim. He is no stranger to the stage or the screen. He has appeared on stage as Jojo in “Seussical, Jr” at the South of Broadway Theater earlier this year. He has appeared in several TV and film projects including “The Wise Kids” and “Eastbound & Down” and has been in numerous commercials.

At the young age of 4, his mother Galin really didn’t know if Porter would like acting or not. He was too young to play the sports his older brother was into at the time. He always loved play acting at home (dressing up in his superhero Halloween costumes year-round, playing with his action figures, etc) and was a pretty good “actor” when it came to trying to get his older brother in trouble when they would squabble (the fake crying, etc), Galin said.

“When the open call went out for an independent feature film that was being shot in Charleston, I just asked him if he would like to audition and he said yes. When he started working on set, he loved being part of the team with the older kids and adults. I think he liked being treated like a colleague rather than being dismissed as a little kid by the adults working with him.”

“I think she knew I would be good at it because I was more of a pretender back then,” said Porter. “I made up characters and put on my own shows at home.”

And while the audition gave him the taste for acting, being on set solidified it.

“What I like most about acting is meeting new people,” Porter said.

“I’ve met some really famous people and we all have a fun time on the set.”

He said he was pretty nervous at that first audition because he was only 4 and there were so many people there.

But he had no trouble memorizing his lines and with the help of professional acting coaches and lessons, he said he can easily get into character, knowing when to make the appropriate facial expressions and body language.

In “A Christmas Carol,” Spicer is joined by a host of other East Cooper actors including Clark Spillane - “Peter/John” of Mount Pleasant; Julie McKinney - ”Isabella” of Mount Pleasant; Joanna Cretella - “Finola/Maid of Mount Pleasant; Naomi Doddington - “Mrs. Cratchit” of Mount Pleasant; Alex Blair - “Richard” of Mount Pleasant and Andrew Jones - “Extra Cast Member” of Daniel Island (he won the walk-on role).

Porter, who wants to be a professional actor when he grows up, also enjoys playing soccer, competitive gymnastics, swimming, biking, the trampoline, skateboarding, fishing, basketball, exploring, and climbing just about anything, he said.

Porter is an excellent student and reads three grades above level. He has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh.

That’s indicative of his favorite kind of role which are characters who are active kids and a little bit naughty, he said. But not the kind of characters who get into big trouble or are too bad.

Porter and his fellow actors have trained and rehearsed late into the evening, but he said he is ready for show time, having memorized and perfected all of his lines.

“I am honored I got picked for this play,” he said. “It will be awesome. We have trained and worked hard but we have really had a lot of fun. I am excited I get to act as Tiny Tim. It is fun to do the things his character gets to do and I get to sing, which is one of my favorite things to do.”

Footlight

The Footlight Players, South Carolina’s longest-producing theatre company, is bringing this musical interpretation of “A Christmas Carol” to the region for the first time. “A Christmas Carol” tells Charles Dickens’ timeless tale adapted by Bobby Cronin with original music, lyrics, and vocal arrangements by Angelyn Benson and Bobby Cronin.

The story comes alive on stage Dec. 6, 7, 12–14, and 19–21 at 8 p.m. as well as Dec. 8, 15, and 22 at 3 p.m.

It’s Christmas-time and the kids are trying to open their presents early. When big sister arrives, they get a fresh look at an old story. This song-infused version tells the classic tale of greed from a new perspective. Miser Ebenezer Scrooge is awakened on Christmas Eve by spirits who reveal to him his own miserable existence, what opportunities he wasted in his youth, his current cruelties and the dire fate that awaits him if he does not change his ways. Scrooge is faced with his own story of growing bitterness and meanness and must decide what his own future will hold: death or redemption. This heartfelt musical interpretation of this timeless holiday story is great for adults and children alike.

Told through the eyes of four present-day children, Bobby Cronin describes his adaptation as being brought to life with “…the imaginations of these kids [who] make the story feel new with their take on the vivid characters who sing with lush contemporary melodies, and speak with straightforward language – they breathe new life into the familiar.” First performed at Northern Stage in 2004, this will be the first time this delightful version of “A Christmas Carol” has graced any stage on the Southeastern coast. Charlie McMeekin from The Herald of Randolph in Vermont found the production to be “…a resounding affirmation of the spirit of Christmas, and the most moving theatrical piece [he’s] seen since “Les Miserables.” Cynics beware…this is first-rate work, a premium blend of energy, talent, and theatrical genius.”

Director, Thomas Keating, is an Associate Professor of Theatre at Charleston Southern University where he teaches Acting and Directing. Thomas just finished up Another Antigone at CSU. He has directed Oklahoma!,

South Pacific, It’s a Wonderful Life, and Inspecting Carol with the Footlight Players where he serves as Artistic Advisor. Musical Director, Mary Fishburne, is a Footlight veteran in many ways, having played Nellie Forbush in South Pacific in August 2011 and working as choreographer for Oklahoma in May 2013.

Catch the show

Dec. 6, 7, 12–14, and 19–21 at 8 p.m.

Dec. 8, 15, and 22 at 3 p.m.

All performances will be held at the Footlight Players Theatre, 20 Queen Street.

Ticket prices are $25 for adults, $22 for military/seniors, $15 for students, and $12 for children twelve and under.

For more information, visit www.FootlightPlayers.net or call 843-722-4487.

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