CSU presents Tolkien classic ‘The Hobbit’ on stage

The theater program at Colorado State University presents J.R.R. Tolkien’s epic tale of The Hobbit through Patricia Gray’s stage adaptation. Performances will be from April 23 through May 3, Thursdays – Sundays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 2 p.m. in the University Theatre at the University Center for the Arts, located at 1400 Remington St.

CSU’s production, headed by guest director Rob Lauer, features 26 cast members in a celebration of theatre and Tolkien’s classic tale. The theatrical version, differing from the Peter Jackson Hollywood blockbuster style, showcases what CSU theatre does best by approaching the story in innovative ways using multimedia and live actors to create the magic of Middle Earth.

Chris Olson as Bilbo Baggins
Chris Olson as Bilbo Baggins

The Hobbit is a fresh theatrical experience for the whole family, both for die-hard Tolkien fans, as well as an introduction for anyone who has yet to experience this classic story.

The Hobbit

It’s unusual for a modern work to become a classic so quickly, but Tolkien’s “ring” stories, which began with The Hobbit, clearly have become a classic. The story deftly transports you from Bag-End through the goblin-riddled Misty Mountains and the dark forest of Mirkwood, into the Lonely Mountain where Smaug sits atop his stolen treasures. A motley band of 13 dwarves and a mysterious wizard are joined by a reluctant burglar to deliver action-packed battles, raucous songs, and along the way find something Precious.

Zhanna Gurvich’s set design

Because The Hobbit is such a classic tale, the director and designers of this show were faced with the difficult task of creating a believable world in which these fantasies can live and thrive. Since the movies are so popular the design team had to find a way to make this story come to life all on one stage.

“It’s a journey of discovery,” said CSU faculty and set designer Zhanna Gurvich of her design. “We’ve created a varied, rugged countryside on a stage of rock slabs and trees that create this great fantasy world.”

Read more about the set design in The Road to Hobbiton.

Rob Lauer

sceneRob Lauer is an award-winning playwright, theatrical and television director, and the host of two TV shows in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. Rob’s first play “Digger” won the 1982 Mayhew Award, was later to critical acclaim and later published in 1988. In 1990 he became the first playwright to win both the Best Play of the Year Award (for his satire, “Tom and Penny’s Yard Party”) and the Paul T. Nolan Award (for his urban drama “The Church Street Fantasy”) at the Deep South Writers conference.

Schedule of performances

The Hobbit by Patricia Gray

Directed by Rob Lauer
Nightly: April 23, 24, 25, 26, 30, May 1, 2, 3, 7:30 p.m.
Matinees: April 25, 26, May 2, 3, 2 p.m.
Talk Back with the director and designers immediately following the April 23 and 26 evening performances

Ticket Thursdays: FREE/CSU Students: Apr. 23 & 30

Fort Fund Tickets (Sundays): FREE/Community Members: Apr. 26 & May 3

CSU Alumni: Opening night reduced adult ticket price with promotional code and Talk Back with director following the April 23 performance.

Graduating Seniors: Show your cap & gown receipt and receive a $5 student ticket to a Friday performance (April 24 & May 1). Must be redeemed in person at the Box Office.

hobbitCome in Costume: Wear your favorite Tolkien-inspired (The Hobbit, Lord of the Rings) costume and receive either a half-price adult ticket ($9) or a $5 student ticket. Must be redeemed in person at the Box Office. All weapons must be peace-bladed/dulled. No functional weapons allowed.

University Center for the Arts

Tickets are $8 for CSU students, $8 for youth (under 18), and $18 for the public. Tickets are available at the University Center for the Arts (UCA) ticket office in the UCA lobby Monday through Friday, 3:30 – 5:30 p.m. and 60 minutes prior to performances, by phone at 970-491-ARTS (2787), or online at www.CSUArtsTickets.com. Youth tickets must be purchased in person at the Ticket Office. All tickets are subject to a $1 ticket fee for both online and at-the-door purchases. Advance ticket purchase is highly recommended to avoid lines and further at-the-door fees

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The University Center for the Arts at Colorado State University provides an enriched venue in which the study and practice of Art, Dance, Music, and Theatre are nurtured and sustained by building the skills and knowledge needed by future generations of arts professionals to become contributors to the essential vitality of our culture and society.

For more information, visit UCA.Colostate.edu.