WADSWORTH – A young Isham student is seeing his hard work and passion for the theater pay off this holiday season.
Michael Younkin, 9, of Wadsworth, is playing the role of Young Scrooge as well as some other characters in Great Lakes Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol at Playhouse Square’s Ohio Theatre this month.
“I will tell you that this is quite the accomplishment for a child his age to make his Playhouse Square debut in a named role with spoken lines,” said Kimberly States, adjunct voice professor at Ashland University and Younkin’s private voice teacher. “He is a joy to work with and quick as a whip.”
Younkin actually has three roles with lines in the production including the role of Young Scrooge, James Cratchit and Master Robert.
“I really enjoy performing and all it involves,” Younkin said. “I like singing and dancing. I’ve liked acting since I was in preschool.”
Younkin was first on stage with the Wadsworth Footlighters, but after discovering the Great Lakes Theatre, he wanted to take his talents even further.
“The adult actors he is working with are professional actors and I think it’s a good perspective for him to see,” Younkin’s mom, Dana, said. “He sees the work they put into it and what it takes.”
States said she has been working one on one with Younkin as his voice teacher for just over a year.
“He works incredibly hard,” States said. “Recently, his family went on vacation and at the time he was playing the part of Michael Banks in Wadsworth Footlighters’ production of Mary Poppins Jr. He took his script with him and practiced on his own so much that his mom had to remind him to play in the ocean and enjoy the vacation.”
States said that Younkin takes his craft very seriously.
“Besides his strong work ethic he is riveting to watch on stage because he is so committed to whatever character he is playing,” she said. “And he has been raised with excellent manners and treats everyone with the utmost respect and has an incredibly good natured and friendly personality.”
A Christmas Carol will be playing at the Ohio Theatre through Dec. 22.