Seth Younglove, playing Bob Cratchit in "Scrooge's Christmas," warms his hands by the candlelight while Scrooge, played by Michael Devokaitis, sits by a roaring fire in his office. Stephanie Jadrnicek
Seth Younglove, playing Bob Cratchit in "Scrooge's Christmas," warms his hands by the candlelight while Scrooge, played by Michael Devokaitis, sits by a roaring fire in his office. Stephanie Jadrnicek

Fort Mill Times

Fort Mill family gets into the Christmas spirit with Rock Hill theater production

By Stephanie Jadrnicek

Special to the Fort Mill Times

December 06, 2017 04:00 PM

ROCK HILL

A Fort Mill mother-daughter duo is helping Rock Hill residents get into the Christmas spirit this season.

“Scrooge’s Christmas” opens at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Rock Hill Community Theatre. And although Elizabeth Marvin has been involved in many shows directed by her mother, this is the first time she’s her mom’s right-hand woman.

“There’s a lot of times where we both know, from working together, what the other needs to do,” director Sheri Marvin said. “We’re good communicators that way.”

"We’re also both loud and stubborn,” stage manager Elizabeth Marvin chimed in.

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Together, they’re managing a cast of 18 and a handful of backstage crew to bring Ken Jones’ adaptation of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” to the stage.

Michael Devokaitis, who plays Scrooge, calls the play a “Reader’s Digest” version of the classic Christmas tale.

“It’s an abbreviated version,” he said. “It hits all the salient points, but it doesn’t get into every single little detail of the book. It takes about an hour to run through the whole thing.”

“Scrooge’s Christmas” is about redemption. It tells the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, amean, elderly miser who transforms into a kinder, gnetler version of himsef after visits from the ghost of his former business partner and the Ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Yet to Come.

Devokaitis said portraying Scrooge is a pinnacle in his acting career because it’s a role known worldwide. And, a challenging one at that.

“It’s hard to be as mean as I have to be at the beginning so there can be that change at the end,” he said. “People have to realize this is the nastiest person they’ve ever met. Then at the end, I jump around on the bed and say how happy I am that the spirits have done everything in one night so that I haven’t missed Christmas.”

In addition to Nation Ford High senior Elizabeth Marvin, several other students from NaFo and Fort Mill High are involved in the production. Nation Ford senior Seth Younglove, 18, plays Bob Cratchit, Scrooge’s bookkeeper.

“He’s the foil of Scrooge in literary terms. That means the exact opposite,” Younglove said. “Bob Cratchit is happy although he’s poor; Scrooge is rich, but he’s upset all the time. Bob Cratchit is what brings Scrooge’s character back to being human again.”

Nation Ford freshman Dylan Butler, 15, plays two characters – Scrooge’s nephew and the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come. He said Scrooge’s nephew is inherently cheerful and tries to infuse his holiday cheer into his grumpy uncle.

Belle, Scrooge’s neglected fiancé, is played by Fort Mill senior Anna Cibbarelli, 17.

“When Ghost of Christmas Past brings scrooge back to his past and shows him the things that lead up to him turning into a sour old man, you see his fiancé break up with him – I’m that fiancée,” she said. “It’s one of those things that pushes him toward being a crotchety old man. He sees me breaking up with him, and me with my (future) happy family and it’s a punch in the gut.”

All of the student actors agree that theatre has opened a door for them. Nation Ford junior Logan Brodfuehrer, 16, said he enjoys theater because it gives him the opportunity to meet so many different people.

“You have this constantly growing group of friends who are all interested in the same thing,” he said. “You hang out, you rehearse and you become like a family – that’s my favorite part of theater.”

A friend introduced Fort Mill High junior Spencer Dulin, 16, to theater when he was in the eighth grade. Before then, he was an athlete. He said he’s more fulfilled on stage thanon the playing field.

“There’s no feeling like the applause that you get at the end,” he said. “And just knowing that all your hard work paid off and people really appreciate it.”

Sponsored by The Herald Media Group and Rock Hill Coca-Cola Bottling Company, “Scrooge’s Christmas” offers additional shows Dec. 9, 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees Dec. 10 and 17 at 3 p.m.

Tickets cost $15 for adults, $12 for students and seniors. Matinee tickets have a $2 discount. For tickets, call 803-FAN-RHCT or visit rockhilltheatre.org.

Stephanie Jadrnicek: stephaniej123@gmail.com

Want to go?

What: “Scrooge’s Christmas”

Where: Rock Hill Community Theatre; 546 S. Cherry Rd., Suite N (behind ROC Emporium)

When: Dec. 9, 14, 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 10 and 17 at 3 p.m.

Cost: Adults $15; students and seniors $12; matinees $2 off

For more info: Call 803-FAN-RHCT or visit rockhilltheatre.org