Hickory – LRU graduate Cody Stuckenschneider has landed the leading role of Bilbo Baggins in the Hickory Community Theatre’s upcoming production of The Hobbit. Performances will begin on Friday, March 9th and continue through Sunday, March 25th.

Stuckenschneider, who’s performed with community and college theatres throughout the region describes Bilbo Baggins as one of his three “dream roles.”

When asked for details he said, “I chose to audition for this play because the Lord of the Rings series is perhaps my favorite book series of all time and I have read each installment, The Hobbit included, well over a dozen times. So to have the opportunity to be a part of bringing that story to life was simply something I couldn’t pass up. I was hoping to get Bilbo, just because he is my favorite of the Hobbits in the series and I really love his character. I put on my audition form that I would like to be Bilbo or Gollum, just because I have been successful as a character actor before and thought that would widen my chances of being cast, but Bilbo was what my heart was set on.”

Stuckenschneider started acting at age 11 and was the drama club president in both middle school and high school. He completed his BA in Theatre at Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2016.

Subtitled “There and Back Again,” The Hobbit follows the adventures of Bilbo, one of the most conservative of Hobbits. Although he’s never ventured far from home he’s convinced by the wizard Gandalf to join a band of unruly dwarves on their quest to restore their leader Thorrin Oakenshield as King Under the Mountain. First published in September 1937, as a fantasy story for children, the classic story by J. R. R. Tolkien has been thrilling readers for generations.

Performances of The Hobbit are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm (Mar 9, 10, 16, 17, 23 & 24); Thursdays at 7:30pm (Mar 15 & 22); and Sundays at 2:30pm (Mar 18 & 25.)

All seats are $18, seniors age 60+ are $16 and tickets for students and youth 18 and under are $10. On Thursday nights all adults and seniors are $14. Tickets are now on sale online at hickorytheatre.org or through the Theatre box office, in person or by phone at 828-328-2283. Box office hours are 12-5 Wednesday through Friday.

HCT is a Funded Affiliate of the United Arts Council of Catawba County. The 2017-2018 Season is sponsored by Paramount Automotive and A Cleaner World. The Hobbit is produced by Robert Abbey, Inc. and Sunbelt Furniture Xpress.

Photo: Cody Stuckenschneider is Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit at the Hickory Community Theatre. Performances begin on March 9th in the Jeffers Theatre. Click www.hickorytheatre.org or call (828) 328-2283 for tickets and information.
Photo by John Koval.