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Jillian Engel, as Gollum, illustrates to Abigail Guillory, playing Bilbo Baggins, the power of the mysterious ring. (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)<br>

Jillian Engel, as Gollum, illustrates to Abigail Guillory, playing Bilbo Baggins, the power of the mysterious ring. (Michelle Higginbotham / American Press)

Children’s Theatre Company ventures to Middle Earth in ‘The Hobbit’

Last Modified: Thursday, May 02, 2013 12:37 PM

By Jordan Gribble / Special to the American Press

The Children’s Theatre Company will stage a production of “The Hobbit” at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, and 3 p.m. Sunday, May 5, in the Central School Arts and Humanities Center, 809 Kirby St.

“The Hobbit,” written by J.R.R. Tolkien in 1937, tells the story of Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is happy living a life of predictability but who is thrust into an adventure involving trolls, gold and a dragon.

“It’s a challenging story about being persuaded into going somewhere that no one has gone before,” said Kerry Onxley, CTC artistic director. “It really has a lot of important lessons in it for audiences to learn.”

Onxley said the story has been simplified but will be entertaining for audiences of all ages. He said the company has worked hard to make the production as visual as possible

“All of the leads pride themselves on the costuming and makeup, and the visuals of this play will illustrate that,” he said. “They have really studied the source material for ‘The Hobbit’ and are very serious in their art and are practicing great acting technique. This is not a middle school play, or at least it doesn’t look like one.”

Onxley said audience members who have followed the company’s season will be surprised by the versatility of its cast members.

“That’s the thing we’re proudest of about this group is that they are able to do something like ‘Sleeping Beauty’ in the fall and then jump into a very strong classic like this,” he said. “It just shows how strong their acting technique is.”

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