God bless us, everyone! Ebenezer Scrooge celebrates Christmas with Tiny Tim, played by Samantha Whidby, in A Contemporary Theatre's production of A Christmas Carol.
Photo by Chris Bennion.
by Deborah Stone
For the first time in many years, the role of Tiny Tim in ACT's holiday favorite, A Christmas Carol, will be played by a girl, and the actress who portrays the littlest Cratchit is 5-year-old Samantha Whidby of Woodinville.
Samantha has been training at the Young Performers Studio in Seattle since she was three, appearing in several plays, including Toad of Toad Hall and How to Act Like a Child at Renton Carco Theatre. She has also done modeling and radio work and frequently auditions for national commercials.
A kindergartner at Marymoor Montessori, Samantha has interests in various activities. She enjoys dance, music, and gymnastics, and is an avid reader.
At a very young age, Samantha was taken to many plays and concerts and was captivated by the performances. "I wondered about the people doing the acting and how they did it, so I asked my Mom if I could take lessons and learn," she said.
When asked why she likes acting, Samantha responds, "You get to pretend you're other people."
According to Samantha's mother, Terri Whidby, Samantha is extremely focused, takes direction well, and loves to perform. She is also a very caring child with a gentle disposition, her mother said.
"I strongly believe that children do well doing what they like most," Terri said. "Samantha truly loves performing for people, whether it's a dance, song, or part in a play, and her father Mark and I are supportive of her endeavors." This support includes an often hectic schedule of accompanying Samantha to numerous auditions and rehearsals and helping her prepare for her roles.
Samantha has no qualms about playing a boy in A Christmas Carol. She says, "It's different, but not hard." She particularly likes using a crutch for the role and says the other actors, who include six children, are very nice to her.
More than 100 children auditioned for the play, where they were asked to sing a song and recite a poem or monologue from memory. Those chosen are participating in a month of intensive rehearsals after school and on weekends. They will perform two shows per day, six days a week, during the four-and-a-half-week run of A Christmas Carol.
Previews begin Nov. 27, with performances running through Dec. 28. For ticket information, call 292-7676.