GROTON -- Youth ages 11-14 are invited to become part of the magical world of Tolkien! The 3Rivers Youth Theatre Senior Company will present "The Hobbit," a musical production co-directed by youth theatre veteran Bonnie Marchesani and actor Patricia Lawrence, both of Groton. Based on the classic tale by J.R.R. Tolkien, "The Hobbit" will run April 13 and 14, 2013 at the Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School Performing Arts Center.

Online registration is now open at www.3RiversArts.com for youth aged 11 - 14 from the greater Groton / Ayer region. Young actors may also register in person at the Union Congregational Church Parish House, 220 Main Street, Groton, on Jan. 28 from 4-5 p.m.. Rehearsals begin Jan. 30. For more information, please visit www.3RiversArts.com or e-mail Bonnie Marchesani at youththeatre@3riversarts.com.

Parts are plentiful in this musical production, which features exciting Middle Earth characters such as Hobbits, Elves, Dwarves, Fairies, Orcs and more. There are no auditions. The co-directors choose the cast from those who register and can faithfully commit to rehearsals, which are scheduled Wednesdays and Fridays 4-6 p.m., and Saturday mornings, 9:30-11 a.m. through production week.

The musical, from Dramatic Publishing, was written by Ruth Perry, with music by Allan Jay Friedman, and lyrics by David Rogers.

From the Dramatic Publishing website: "This enchanting musical begins with a song by the greatest of all wizards: "I, Gandolf, Best wizard that you'll see, Bid the darling spirits, Send the band of dwarves to me." And as he sings, we hear the spirited marching song of the dwarves who pour down the aisles and onto the stage, singing bravely as they come: "Thirteen mighty dwarves, Straight and strong and true. With just one goal in view -- To slay the awful dragon Smaug. He took our home and burned and looted. Now he must be executed. Thirteen mighty dwarves."

The reluctant Hobbit hero Bilbo Baggins is asked to join the band, for they can hardly hope to succeed as an unlucky thirteen. Bilbo finally agrees to the adventure! They encounter the dangerous trolls, then escape into Goblin country where Bilbo finds a gold ring with magical power. It's a ring of invisibility. Bilbo is cautious and thoughtful but saves them in every crisis, even in the climactic scene with the dragon Smaug."

Local actor Patricia Lawrence of Groton will join 3Rivers Youth Theatre as co-director. Pat was assistant director of the Junior and Senior Drama Programs at Groton's Country Day School for nearly 10 years.

There will be three performances of "The Hobbit" at the Groton-Dunstable Regional Middle School Performing Arts Center April 13 and 14. For information, visit ww.3RiversArts.com.