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Welch directs 'Hobbit' production

In celebration of the 75th anniversary of J.R.R. Tolkien's "The Hobbit," published in 1937, Green T Productions creates its own version of Middle Earth. Drawing on traditional theater and dance forms including Japanese kabuki and noh, Beijing opera, Spanish Flamenco and puppetry, Green T brings its own unique brand of stylized performance to this now classic tale.

For additional inspiration for this production Artistic Director Kathy Welch and Green T Artistic Associate Natalie Rae Wass spent five weeks this summer at the Rhodopi International Theatre Laboratory in Smolyan, Bulgaria where they added to their theatrical repertoire by studying Japanese theater with Izumi Ashizawa, circus and aerial techniques with Benita Primo and Greek choral technique with Dr. Alexander Iliev. The theater laboratory is located in the Rhodopi Mountains of Bulgaria the mythological birthplace of Orpheus and Eurydice and the original terrain of the cult of Dionysus, i.e., the origin of Western theater, music, and performance.

"The Hobbit," dramatized by Patricia Gray, is directed by Kathy Welch of New Richmond and features Kerry Foerster as Bilbo Baggins, Ki Seung Rhee as Gandalf and Heidi Berg as the dwarf Thorin. The remaining dwarves, elves, giants, trolls, human, goblins and spiders are portrayed by an ensemble cast of 28 including veteran Green T ensemble members and Green T novices. Costume design is by Lisa Conley, set design by Tyler Martin, fight choreography by David Schneider, Flamenco choreography by Colette Illarde.

"The Hobbit" performance dates are: Oct. 20 at 8 p.m., Oct. 21 at 2 p.m., Oct. 25 through 27 at 8 p.m., Oct. 28 at 2 p.m., Nov. 1 through 3 at 8 p.m. and Nov. 4 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $20 for adults, $18 for students, seniors and MPR members, $15 for Fringe Button holders and Thursdays are "pay what you can" nights. Purchase tickets online at or reserve by calling 715-246-3285.

The Old Arizona Theater is located at 2821 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis.