In the News: CBC Entertainment – Hobbit fever takes over Manitoba Theatre for Young People

by Dec 12, 1999Lord of the Rings (Movies)

“Sonicboar” emailed us the following article about a local production of The Hobbit. It seems that stage productions of The Hobbit have exploded lately… I bet we’ll see plenty more in the next couple of years!

Hobbit fever takes over Manitoba Theatre for Young People

by Janet Ringer – CBC Radio Arts

CBC Entertainment – December 10, 1999

WINNIPEG – The Manitoba Theatre for Young
People has transformed its flex space theatre into
Middle Earth this week. That’s the world J.R.R.
Tolkien created for his story The Hobbit.

The Manitoba Theatre for Young People designed its
new theatre to accommodate just this kind of
production. Most of the seats have been removed so
the audience is seated on the floor right in the midst of
all the action.

Leslee Silverman, MTYP’s artistic director, says from
the moment the audience enters the theatre, she wants
to transport them to Tolkien’s mythical universe.

“The production space looks as epic as the story of
The Hobbit itself,” she says. “For the first time we are
able to make a mountain in the space, make caves, a
forest -that means that the audience is among the
environment in which the story takes place.”

Silverman believes productions such as The Hobbit
are critical to the future of live children’s theatre.

“It needs to compete with the two dimensions of film and video now,” she
says, “and the only way to do that is to provide designers with a kind of
space in which suddenly a flashpot is as exciting as pressing a button on a
video machine.”

MTYP seems to be on the right track. Its production of The Hobbit has
been so popular that the company has had to double the number of public
performances -and the play hasn’t even opened yet.

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