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Storyland Theatre takes on Tolkien's tale

Posted: October 26, 2013 - 11:02pm
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Austin Rhodes, Elizabeth Canas (center) and Nancy Cisick are featured performers in Storyland Theatre's production of Bilbo and the Magic Ring.  Photos by Charmain Z,. Brackett
Photos by Charmain Z,. Brackett
Austin Rhodes, Elizabeth Canas (center) and Nancy Cisick are featured performers in Storyland Theatre's production of Bilbo and the Magic Ring.

You won’t find this character in J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, but Elizabeth Canas likes her nonetheless.

“She’s fun and spunky. She’s not a damsel in distress, even though she has to be rescued,” said Canas, a 2010 Greenbrier High School graduate and Georgia Regents University student, who plays the role of Symphony Sonatina in Storyland Theatre’s musical production of Bilbo and the Magic Ring.

Loosely based on The Hobbit, it features an original script by Rick Davis, who also plays Gandalf. It features a couple of bumbling trolls played by Austin Rhodes and Nancy Cisick, who dream of hobbit meals, and Golem, played by Dustin Scott, who wants the magic ring.

While the trolls might sound frightening, Canas said they really aren’t.

“I have a hard time not laughing,” said Canas, who was first introduced to Storyland Theatre when she was a pupil at Riverside Elementary School.

Her fellow hobbit, Michael Fortino, who plays Bilbo, also grew up watching Storyland Theatre while he attended Westmont Elementary School and loves playing for audiences of children.

“Children are the most honest audiences. If they don’t like it, they will tune you out quick,” he said.

But if they do like it, they’ll also let you know, said Canas.

“I love the reaction of kids. We do the shows in rehearsals, but once you get into the theater and they look up at you, it’s different,” she said.

They laugh at the things they like and are enthusiastic in their response, Fortino and Canas said.

Although the target audience is children, adults can also enjoy the shows, said Storyland’s executive director, Barbara Feldman.

“I think this is one of Rick Davis’ best plays,” she said. “What he writes in his plays appeals to adults as well; it appeals to everybody.”

Most of Storyland’s shows are performed during the school day for groups. Performances will be at 9:30 and 10:45 a.m. and 12:15 p.m. Oct. 29-31 and Nov. 1. Also, it will be performed at 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 2, at the Imperial Theatre. Reservations are required for the weekday performances, and the cost is $5. The Saturday matinee is $6. Active-duty military and dependents receive free admission with ID. For more information, call (706) 736-3455.

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