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The Hobbit
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Based on the book The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
Licensed by Middle-earth Enterprises
Adapted for the stage and Directed by Greg Banks
Music by Thomas Johnson
Lyrics by Greg Banks and Thomas Johnson

For adventurous 8-year-olds and up
Runs approximately two hours, including one 20-minute intermission

A Children’s Theatre Company World Premiere Production

Our unlikely hero, Bilbo Baggins, would much rather be sitting in his cozy Hobbit Hole with a cup of tea and a plate of bacon and eggs. However, he somehow finds himself on a magically mystical adventure. Staged with speed and surprises, you’ll be delighted as things change before your very eyes. Discover what happens as Bilbo travels on an epic journey over freezing mountains and a frightening forest, meeting all sorts of fierce creatures—some who want to eat him, others who turn into dear friends.

Performance Description

CTC’s The Hobbit is a play with music performed by a small group of adult actors. This production is a world premiere meaning that this is the first time it’s ever been performed in the entire world. The show was created with our new play development lab here at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, MN. It is based on the classic novel by J. R. R. Tolkien.

This production takes place on our United Health Group stage and seats up to 745 people per performance. 

Approximate run time: 2 hours including intermission.

Run time and other details are subject to change during rehearsal process.

Plot Synopsis
Caution: This is a complete synopsis of the play, so it is full of spoilers. This script is still in development. Content is subject to change until script is solidified.

The play begins with Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit, is listening to the radio in his hobbit hole. The dwarves enter and address the audience. We learn that their palace was destroyed by a dragon and their treasure was stolen in the elven wars. Bilbo turns off the radio when an unexpected visitor arrives. It is Gandalf, a wizard, who announces that he is sending Bilbo on an adventure. Bilbo politely declines and pushes Gandolf out the door, but moments later the rest of the party arrives in the form of 13 dwarves lead by Thorin Oakenshield, who carries an old map and key. Bilbo is a generous host and welcomes them all. The dwarves discuss the adventure ahead, which promises to be long and dangerous. It is revealed that Gandalf has chosen Bilbo to be a burglar who can sneak into a dragon’s lair to retrieve treasure. Bilbo protests that he is not a burglar, and the dwarves are skeptical as well. Thorin shares that during his grandfather’s time, dwarves fled their land and took up residence in the mountain. They created a great society with caverns full of jewels, gold, and all manner of beautiful things. But the dragon, Smaug, attacked the mountain and killed many dwarves, taking the treasure for himself. Smaug now lives in the mountain, guarding his stolen goods and Thorin quests to get it back. They need to reach the mountain by Durin’s Day. Bilbo is not swayed and offers to feed the party before they leave in the morning. The group falls asleep. 

Bilbo awakes the next morning and finds the party gone. Gandalf appears and hands Bilbo a note with instructions on where to meet the party and rushes him out before Bilbo can think better of it. The party travels by pony for a great distance, through rain and past dark castles, and Bilbo begins to complain of the cold and that he should have stayed home. As they look for a place to sleep one night, the party sees a fire and elects Bilbo, as he is the burglar, to spy on whomever made it.

Around the fire Bilbo finds three large trolls cooking mutton, which they are tired of eating. Bilbo feels that he cannot return to the party empty handed and decides to steal something from the Trolls. But when he tries to pick their pockets, the trolls capture him and debate the merits of eating him. The debate turns heated, with the trolls devolving into a fistfight that allows Bilbo to sneak off and hide in the bushes. Just then, Thorin appears looking for Bilbo and catches the attention of the trolls. The trolls capture all the dwarves and discuss the perfect way to cook them. The sun comes up over the horizon and turns the trolls into stone. Bilbo is able to release his friends. The dwarves chide Bilbo for stealing from the trolls.

The party finds a set of footprints and follow them until they find a stone door. Inside they find the remains of the trolls’ victims as well as a collection of famous swords, including goblin swords from the goblin wars. Bilbo takes a small knife and sheath.

A great storm gathers, and they take refuge in a cave. During the night, goblins seize the party and take them deep into the mountain. Gandalf has disappeared. The Goblin Chief accuses the party of stealing from and spying on the goblins. Thorin explains that they were finding shelter from the storm. The chief sees the goblin swords in the party’s possession and decrees they should be thrown into the darkness, killed and eaten. Just then, all light is extinguished. Gandalf frees the dwarves and begins to lead them away, but the goblins are in pursuit. As Bilbo and the dwarves run, Kilin (a dwarf) is caught by a goblin. Bilbo stumbles and is knocked unconscious. 

When he awakes, he is alone inside the mountain. He wishes he were home, when his hand comes across a ring that he puts in his pocket. He continues on, looking for his party, when he comes to a cold pool of water. At the pool he meets a creature, Gollum, who would like to eat him. Gollum proposes a wager – if Gollum stumps Bilbo at riddles, Gollum will keep Bilbo in the mountain forever. If Bilbo stumps Gollum, Gollum will show Bilbo out of the mountain. After several riddles, Bilbo asks “What have I got in my pocket?” and Gollum cannot answer. Bilbo insists Gollum show him out, but Gollum is now interested in what Bilbo does have in his pocket. Bilbo will not tell him, and Gollum becomes agitated as he realizes that he has misplaced something he values. Suspicious of Bilbo, Gollum tries to attack but Bilbo puts on the found ring and disappears. Gollum searches the cavern and decides Bilbo must have left via the back door of the mountain. Off he goes to find Bilbo, but Bilbo, invisible, follows right behind. Bilbo is able to squeeze through a small door and escape.  

Outside, Bilbo sees Gandalf and the dwarves (luckily, Kilin has escaped unscathed). As he approaches, he overhears the dwarves debating whether or not to go back and rescue Bilbo. Bilbo removes the ring to reveal himself. Gandalf is happy to see him; the dwarves are less enthusiastic. Gandalf asks how he escaped and Bilbo avoids telling him about the ring. 

The party continues on foot, and is caught in a landslide that propels them down the mountain. Night approaches and wolves begin to gather. Gandalf and the dwarves climb trees to get away. Gandalf lights pinecones on fire and throws them at the gathering wolves. However, goblins arrive and use the burning pinecones to light the trees on fire. As the fire consumes the trees, eagles arrive to fly the party to safety.

Once they’ve all landed, Gandalf announces he has business to attend to, warns the party not to stray from the path, and leaves them. Bilbo begs Gandalf to take him back home but everyone encourages him to continue on through Mirkwood with the rest of the party.

For days the party walks the path, while trying to hunt for food. Hungry and tired, one night they spot a light just off the path accompanied by the smells of roasting meat. They send Bilbo to find the festivities, but darkness overtakes them. In the darkness, Bilbo is trapped by a spider web and a giant spider is trying to tickle him. With a free hand, Bilbo grabs his knife and attacks the creature, stabbing it in the eye. Bilbo is able to free himself when more spiders trap the party in their web. Bilbo slips on the ring to disappear and throws stones at the spiders to draw them away from the rest of the party and save them. Once gone, Bilbo removes the ring and frees the dwarves. The dwarves asked how it was he couldn’t be seen, and Bilbo explains about the ring. Thorin is critical as to why Bilbo didn’t reveal information about the ring sooner and declares that he no longer trusts Bilbo.

The party soon run into wood elves who bind the dwarves and bring them to the elven queen. Bilbo, however, slips on the ring and goes unseen. The queen asks their business in the forest. Thorin, not wanting to share the treasure with the elves, refuses to talk. The elven king imprisons the dwarves until they decide to tell him what they are up to. Bilbo slips on the ring and is able to escape imprisonment. Bilbo steals the keys from a guard and unlocks the cells. To escape, they all sneak to the cellar and hide themselves in empty barrels that are carried away on the river. 

The barrels wash ashore at the bottom of the lonely mountain at Lake Town. Thorin thanks Bilbo for all of his work so far which astounds the company. The company enters the town ask asks for shelter but the locals are not welcoming. Thorin introduces himself as King of the Mountain who has return and shows them his amulet. The people of Lake Town are exhilarated by his return and treat the entire party as royalty. But soon it is time for the party to complete their adventure and the locals warn them not to upset Smaug the dragon. They set off to the mountain.

The party sees smoke from an opening in the mountain – that is where Smaug must be. They find a narrow trail and follow it to a large, smooth area of rock that looks like a door with no handle, hinge, or opening. They try magic words and force, to no avail. The sun begins to set, a thrush trills, and Bilbo gets an idea. Remembering the secret words on the map, he waits until the sun slips behind the horizon, and a ray of light hits the door, illuminating a keyhole. Thorin uses his key to open the door. The party feels overcome with emotion as they reflect on what it means to be back home after all they lost in the goblin war. Bilbo offers to enter the door first and slips on the ring. Soon he sees piles and piles of gold which causes him to forget about the dragon. He grabs a gold cup to prove what he has seen and returns to the dwarves. Just then Smaug wakes up and spots Bilbo. The dragon knows that Bilbo has stolen some of the treasure and advises him to return the golden cup and abandon the dwarves. Bilbo slips on the ring, grabs the treasure, and runs out of the mountain.

Bilbo returns to the company with the golden cup. Smaug bursts out of the mountain and breaths fire. Smaug begins an assault on the mountain from the outside. He crashes into the mountain, showering it with flames and rocks. The secret door to the outside becomes blocked and the dwarves and Bilbo have no way out. The dwarves despair that they are trapped, but Bilbo leads them down the tunnel to Smaug’s lair knowing there is another way out. When they arrive, Smaug is nowhere to be seen. Thorin shares that what he really wants is a great jewel called the Arkenstone. Bilbo stumbles upon the Arkenstone. But rather than give it over to Thorin, he pockets it.

Thorin takes charge and leads them through the old dwarf city. They make their way past rotting tables, crumbling archways, and aging bones Smaug swoops over the town, destroying everything in his wake. The people of Lake Town are being killed. Bard, a citizen of Lake Town, brings out her bow and arrow and kills the dragon, ending Smaug’s destruction. The party celebrates but Thorin commands the party to fortify the entrance and protect the treasure. Bilbo questions Thorin’s desire to keep the treasure for himself and encourages Thorin to share. The company comes to Bilbo’s defense but Thorin is insistent. The company leaves to gather the army.

The first army to arrive Bard, who killed Smaug, and the elven queen. Bard stakes claim to part of the treasure as Smaug stole it from them and they have helped the company on their journey. Thorin refuses to share treasure or accept responsibility. Bard declares that the dwarves will not be allowed to leave the mountain; they will either share their treasure or starve inside.

Bilbo uses his ring and sneaks out to meet privately with Bard. Bilbo offers Bard the Arkenstone as a tool to make peace with Thorin. The next day, Bard arrives to meet with Thorin and offers him the Arkenstone in exchange for a fair share of treasure. Thorin immediately figures out that Bilbo must have organized this and becomes furious, threatening to throw Blbo off the mountain. Gandalf appears to rescue Bilbo from Thorin’s rage.

Another army arrives riding on wolves. Thorin, Barn, the elven queen and the company must work together to ward them off. The battle of the 5 armies begins. Bilbo slips on his ring to disappear. Elves loose arrows, dwarves wield cudgels, and men fight with swords. The goblins scale the mountain and throw rocks down. Thorin leads the elves, dwarves, and men against the goblins and wolves. Many, on all sides, are killed. It seems the goblins are gaining the upper hand and Thorin is shot with an arrow. Bilbo runs to help but is struck with a rock and passes out.

When he wakes up, the fighting has ended. Around him lay dwarves, elves and goblins killed. Gandalf appears and is surprised Bilbo survived. Balin explains that the eagles came to their aid and hurled goblins off the cliffs. Gandalf takes Bilbo to Thorin, who lays dying. Thorin apologizes to Bilbo and tells him he is a friend. Bilbo expresses gratitude for their adventure together. Thorin dies and is buried with the Arkenstone under the mountain. Bard is given her share of the treasure and rebuilds the city of Lake Town. Bard wants to give Bilbo much of the treasure, but Bilbo will only accept two small chests of gold and silver. Bilbo says goodbye to his companions and invites them, should they be in town, to join him for tea.

Content Advisories (subject to change as the production goes into rehearsal):

Language: 1 out of 5 stars 
Trolls describe themselves as "turds," "idiots," and "foul." Potty humor is used. 

Themes and Situations: 2 out of 5 stars
Reference to alcohol and urination. Troll belch and fart. Many violent situations (see below). Thorin refuses the share the treasure which starts a battle. 

Violence & Scariness: 3 out of 5 stars
Trolls capture and threaten to eat the party. Goblins ambush and imprison the party. The creature, Gollum, holds Bilbo against his will. Wolves chase the party. Fire is used to scare the wolves and the forest catches fire. A giant spider traps Bilbo, Bilbo stabs the spider in the eye with a dagger, more spiders trap the dwarves and Bilbo chases them away. The dragon attacks the party by destroying the mountain around them. It is referenced that the dragon is killed with an arrow. There is a large battle in which many are killed. There is no actual combat but suggestions of combat are used during choreography. Thorin, a dwarf, dies.

Sensory Advisories: 2 out of 5 stars
Play will contain sudden loud sounds and bright lights. Loud noises occur during battle. Atmospheric haze is used. Sudden CO2 blasts occur during the dragon scene. Dramatic lighting effects evoke darkness or scariness. 

Potentially Anxious Moments: 2 out of 5 stars
Beyond the violence (listed above), Bilbo overhears the dwarves insulting him behind his back. There are moments of audience interaction and actors go into the audience. Spiders, Smaug the dragon and Wolves can be intimidating. 

The Hobbit
Student Matinee Pricing Guide


Adventure Bravery Heroism
Greed Ancestry Heritage

Curriculum Connections

Fantasy Adaptation Literature
Maps Geography Riddles
Puzzles Problem-Solving Teamwork


Burglar Grocer Mutton
Rune Thrush Morsel
Riddle Precious Warg
Trudge Barrel Looming
Rage Weary Cinder
Singe Scorch Decrepit

Minnesota State Benchmarks




Speaking & Listening





Artistic Foundations
Theatre, Music, & Dance

Benchmark 1, Benchmark 2, Benchmark 3.2

Artistic Process: Create or Make
Theatre, Music, & Dance

Benchmark 1

Artistic Process: Perform or Present
Theatre, Music, & Dance

Benchmark 1

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