Durango High School Troupe 1096 Opens Season with The Hobbit

November 3, 2023

DHS Troupe 1096 opens their 2023-24 season with a magical journey to Middle Earth. The Hobbit, based on JRR Tolkien’s epic adventure tale, runs from November 3rd to November 11th at Durango High School. Troupe 1096 provides robust opportunities for high school students to explore theatre art, technical design, and theatre management. Students are empowered to create and lead in all aspects of production. Tickets are available online. By Jessica McCallum. This story is sponsored by Happy Pappy's Pizza & Wings and Kroegers Ace Hardware

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DHS Troupe 1096 opens their 2023/24 season with a magical journey to Middle Earth. "The Hobbit," based on J.R.R. Tolkien's epic adventure tale, runs from November 3rd to November 11th at Durango High School. You're watching the Local News Network brought to you by Happy Pappy's Pizza and Wings and Krogers Ace Hardware. I'm Connor Shreve.

"The Hobbit" is a show about Bilbo Baggins going on an adventure that will change his life.

Playing Bilbo Baggins is Animus High School sophomore Luca Sandoval McCallum.

He encounters lots of mystical and interesting characters along his way and I think what he finds the most is he finds himself. I am so grateful to be working on this show and I'm so amazed and blown away with what my peers have been able to create.

"The Hobbit" is co-directed by teachers Benjamin Mattson and Jenny Fitz Reynolds, who have been collaborating for the last three years on Troupe 1096 productions.

Mattson hopes that "The Hobbit" gives the audiences an escape from the world at this moment.

I hope that they see the adventure of Bilbo Baggins as something that they resonate with in their own lives, that they understand they can have a life of adventure while still retaining a sense of home that the people they surround themselves with can help them overcome the obstacles in their life. And that life really can be one big adventure.

The imaginative stagecraft of Troupe 1096's version of Middle Earth is sure to astound audiences. The vision for the show was largely developed by student designers from the sets and costumes to the larger than life puppets that embody some of the monsters that Bilbo and company encounter on his journey.

So in "The Hobbit," we have seven different puppets and three of them are trolls, three of them are spiders, and one is the big dragon named Smaug, and they are all super fun to puppeteer and they were all really hard to build, but they were really worth it.

And it just comes together so beautifully. And this show has done that like it always does, where it starts from, you know, just a couple of pieces of wood on stage and some people with scripts in their hands and it's transformed into this beautiful story, which is visually striking. Like, this is one of our most ambitious sets and like lighting designs and all that stuff that we've ever built. It's got a lot of work and heart put into it, which is really exciting.

Empowering the students to take ownership over all aspects of production is a core value for the educators involved in Troupe 1096.

I think it gives them agency to create something and stand behind it. And I think they learn critical thinking and creative problem solving, and that's invaluable in today's world.

It's something that we can use to exercise our passions. Because theater is not just acting, you know, it's all these different things that you can do with the lighting design, technical stuff, acting, costume, art, all this stuff that you can do. So it's really, it's a place for everyone to come together and work together to make these beautiful shows. And it's really good for making friends and building community within your high school.

And watching them use this program as a way to find a voice and find their character, who they are, to build skills in collaboration and leadership. And to see them go from these sort of scared and timid souls to these really robust, beautiful people that are confident and tenacious and know what they want in life and have direction. I think it's the best thing that kids can be part of.

For more information on how to donate or volunteer or to purchase tickets online for "The Hobbit," go to troupe1096.weebly.com. Be on the lookout for tickets to the remainder of the 1096 season, which includes the musical satire "Urinetown" in March and the comedy, "You Can't Take It With You" in April. For more information about this and other stories, visit durangolocal.news. Thank you for watching this edition of the Local News Network. I'm Connor Shreve.


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