Unlike Charles Dickens' famous character Oliver Twist, Hilton Head Island teenager Katy Hinton has the support of a loving family.
Katy, 17, has acted in the Main Street Youth Theatre for the past seven years, and her parents, April and Jeff Hinton, have spent countless hours helping out. They have built sets, worked in the box office and done whatever else was needed over the years.
Now, Katy's parents are taking on new roles in the theater. Along with their 12-year-old son, Erik, they are joining Katy on stage for the theater's production of "Oliver."
"We've always said it would be really fun to do a show together," April said.
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"This one came up, and it was like -- well, there's sort of a part for everybody. ... Since she's a senior and going to go off to college, we thought, 'Well, we better do it now.' And I'm really glad we did. ... We'll see how the public likes us."
April and Jeff are playing the parts of the undertaker and his wife, Mr. and Mrs. Sowerberry. Katy is playing their daughter Charlotte. And her brother Erik is playing the same roles she played in her first Main Street Youth performance seven years ago -- a pickpocket and a workhouse boy. April, Jeff and Katy also are in the ensemble.
"I have a whole new respect for the stuff she's been learning over the years," Jeff said about his daughter.
A firefighter with the Town of Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue for the past 19 years, Jeff, who is known by most as "Sugar," said he's more scared of opening night than he is of fighting fires.
"I'm 43, and I'm scared to death," Jeff said. "But (Katy) pulls it off without batting an eye."
Katy most recently played the part of the wardrobe in "Beauty and the Beast." She also has played Lucinda in "Into the Woods" and Charlotte in "Charlotte's Web."
"It's sort of my favorite thing to do -- to pretend to be someone else," Katy said.
"Oliver" tells the story of a boy who runs away from an orphanage and ends up hanging out with pickpockets. In the youth theater's production, 10-year-old Bluffton resident John Rosenblum plays the part of Oliver. More than 50 adults and children from Beaufort, Bluffton and Hilton Head are in the play, which is directed and choreographed by Jodi Layman. Cast members have rehearsed six days a week for the show, which opened Wednesday.
"We have a lot of fun as a family, and so I don't think it was a big stretch for us to do this," April said. "(The kids) have a very close relationship. ... Katy has gone to countless baseball games and wrestling matches. And Erik has watched countless hours of theater. We've always committed to being supportive and involved in what the other members of the family were doing."