The Hobbit Aloud: September 26, 2009 (ca. 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM) in the Sigmund and Mary Bloom Hyman '71 Forum of the Athenaeum

Sponsored by the Brooke and Carol Peirce Fund for Undergraduate Research in Special Collections and Archives

        Readers should plan to be at the Athenaeum's Forum stage at least 20 minutes before they are scheduled to read.  Readers arriving later may have to be replaced by substitutes.  Note, too, that we are replacing three chapters (6, 7, and 13) with brief summaries to enable us to complete the reading by dinner, which Tolkien would normally have expected of any civilized event.

Team Hobbit Reader-Volunteers with reading assignments: Nancy Magnuson (Ch. 1, 11-17); Alexandra Cozell (Ch. 1, 17-28); Lily Dodge (Ch. 1, 28-37); Allyn Massey (Ch. 2, 38-44); Rory Turner and Becky Free (Ch. 2, 44-55 and Ch. 4-5, 66-85); Stephanie McCreary (Ch. 3, 56-65); Angela Graci (Ch. 5, 85-96, Ch. 11, 218-28); Kat Flanagan (Ch 8, 144-56); Hannah Locke (Ch. 8, 160-72); Bess Rose (Ch. 8, 155-60 and 172-75); Debra Lenik (Ch. 9, 175-91); Theresa Hodge (Ch. 10, 191-201); David Adams (Ch. 10, 201-7); Julia Boyer (Ch. 11, 208-17); Arnie Sanders (Ch. 12, 228-39); Peter McCarthy (Ch 14, 252-61); Edward Powell (Ch. 15, 262-72); Jakob Goodmuth and/or Zach Martin (Ch. 16, 273-79 and Ch. 17, 285-91); Daniel Eison (Ch. 17, 281-85); Mary Sykes and Rhetta Wiley (Ch. 18-19, 297-309). 

The Harried Scheduler's Notes: I have tried to give everyone sizeable chunks of text, dividing up the longer chapters into episodic units, but please try to make the "reading hand-offs" as nearly seamless as possible.  You can allow a few moments' pause at chapter beginnings, but if you are in the middle of a chapter, make the pause shorter.  Jakob and Zach are paired for readings in Chapters 16 and 17 because Zach will be driving back from an off-campus event earlier in the day (good luck on the LSAT!) and we will need backup.  They could just each take one of the units, or they could do both together dramatically if they have time to plan it.  Bess has two discontinuous pieces of the Mirkwood chapter because Stephanie expressed an early interest in that long "Giant Spiders" chapter, so I have given her a long action-sequence.  Angela Graci also has two discontinuous episodes in Chapters 5 and 11 because she said she was available all day and I needed help dividing up some big chapters.  Mary and Rhetta had already planned trade off reading and page turning for each other.  If you are a solo reader but have a friend who would like to turn pages for you, please ask them to contact me soon.  Rory and Becky expressed an early interest in the "dialect" episodes involving the Trolls and Gollum, so I'm leaving it up to them to divide the reading and page turning duties, or they also could do a dramatic collaboration on part or all of it if they have time to plan.

More Dancing, More Often!:   Note that we have a second dance troupe performing for a half hour at 2:30, following the dwarves' and Bilbo's triumphant arrival at Laketown.  Charm City Rapper will perform sword dances, clogging, and other Anglo-American folk dances to evoke the Lake Men's nostalgic martial world that must soon prepare to face Smaug and the War of the Five Armies.  This will push back the end of the reading to 6:00 or so, but we will need a break and the dancing will help energize our readers.

Team Hobbit Reader Wranglers and Page Turners: Cassie Brand, Angela Graci, Lily Dodge, Alayna Giovannitti, Hannah Locke, Peter McCarthy.  If you plan to listen for a while on Saturday, please let me know if you also could assist the readers and help us keep the show moving along in a spritely fashion.

The Hobbit Aloud Reading Schedule, Saturday, 9/26 (Rev. 9/25/09)

Chapter 1 (9:00 to 10:00 AM)

Nancy Magnuson, 11-16: from “In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit” through “Then he strode away, just about the time when Bilbo was finishing his second cake and beginning to think that he had escaped adventures very well.”

Alex Cozell, 17-28: from “The next day he had almost forgotten about Gandalf” through “It sailed a hundred yards through the air and went down a rabbit-hole, and in this way the battle was won and the game of Golf invented at the same moment.”

Lily Dodge, 28-37: from “In the meanwhile, however, Bullroarer’s gentler descendent was reviving in the drawing-room” through “It was long after the break of day, when he woke up.”

Chapter 2 (10:00-10:40)

Allyn Massey, 38-44: from “Up jumped Bilbo, and putting on his dressing-gown went into the dining-room” through “And this is what he saw.”

Rory Turner and Becky Free, 44-55: from “Three very large persons sitting round a very large fire of beech-logs” through “’Thank you!,’ said Thorin.”

Chapter 3 (10:40-11:00)

Stephanie McCreary, 56-65: from “They did not sing or tell stories that day, even though the weather improved; nor the next day, nor the day after” through “Now they rode away amid songs of farewell and good speed, with their hearts ready for more adventure, and with a knowledge of the road they must follow over the Misty Mountains to the land beyond.”

Intermission: Chorégraphie Antique (11:00-11:30)

Chapters 4-5 (11:30-12:30)

Becky Free and Rory Turner, 66-85: from “There were many paths that led up in to those mountains and many passes over them” through “Asking them, and sometimes guessing them, had been the only game he had ever played with other funny creatures sitting in their holes in the long, long ago, before the goblins came, and he was cut off from his friends far under the mountains.”

Angela Graci, 85-96: from “’Very well, ‘ said Bilbo, who was anxious to agree, until he found out more about the creature, whether he was quite alone, whether he was fierce or hungry, and whether he was a friend of the goblins” through “Bilbo had escaped.”

 Chapters 6 & 7 Summary: Arnie Sanders (12:30-12:35)

Chapter 8 (12:35-1:30)

Kat Flanagan, 146-55: from “They walked in single file” through “They did not care tuppence about the butterflies, and were only made more angry when he told them of the beautiful breeze, which they were too heavy to climb up and feel.”

Bess Rose, 155-60: from “That night they ate their very last scraps and crumbs of food; and next morning when they woke the first thing they noticed was that they were still gnawingly hungry, and the next thing was that it was still raining and that here and there the drip of it was dropping heavily on the forest floor” through “But the cries of the others got steadily further and fainter, and though after a while it seemed to him they changed to yells and cries for help in the far distance, all noise at last died right away, and he was left alone in complete silence and darkness.”

Hannah Locke, 160-72: from “That was one of his most terrible moments” through “”And then he fell asleep, and there was complete silence for a long while.”

Bess Rose, 172-75: from “All of a sudden Dwalin opened an eye, and looked around at them” through “It was not very long before he discovered; but that belongs to the next chapter and the beginning of another adventure in which the hobbit again showed his usefulness.”

Chapter 9-10 (1:30-2:30)

Debra Lenik, 176-91: from “The day after the battle with the spiders Bilbo and the dwarves made one last despairing effort to find a way out before they died of hunger and thirst” through “Then he saw that it would have been no good even if he had managed to get astride his barrel, for there was no room to spare, not even for a hobbit, between its top and the suddenly stooping roof where the gate was.”

Theresa Hodge, 191-99: from “Out they went under the overhanging branches of the trees on either bank” through “But this pleasant legend did not much affect their daily business.”

David Adams, 199-207: from “As soon as the raft of barrels came in sight boats rowed out from the piles of the town, and voices hailed the raft-steerers” through “The only person thoroughly unhappy was Bilbo.”

Intermission: (2:30-3:00) Charm City Rapper—Hobbit off podium (Cassie Brand) and podium rolled to back of stage, then returned when dancing is over.

Chapters 11-12 (3:00-4:00)

Julia Boyer, 208-17: from “In two days going they rowed right up the Long Lake and passed out into the River Running, and now they could all see the Lonely Mountain towering grim and tall before them” through “It seemed as if darkness flowed out like a vapour from the hole in the mountain-side, and deep darkness in which nothing could be seen lay before their eyes, a yawning mouth leading in and down.”

Angela Graci, 218-28: from “For a long time the dwarves stood in the dark before the door and debated, until at last Thorin spoke” through “Then Smaug spoke.”

Arnie Sanders, 228-39: from “Well, thief!  I smell you and feel your air” through “He rose in fire and went away south towards the Running River.”

Chapter 13 summary (4:00-4:05) Arnie Sanders

Chapters 14-16 (4:00-5:00)

Peter McCarthy, 252-61: From “Now if you wish, like the dwarves, to hear news of Smaug, you must go back again to the evening when he smashed the door and flew off in rage, two days before” through “It was thus that in the eleven days from the ruin of the town the head of their host passed the rock-gates at the end of the lake and came into the desolate lands.”

Edward Powell, 262-72: from “Now we will return to Bilbo and the dwarves” through “’And cram is beginning simply to stick in my throat.’”

Jakob Goldmuth and/or Zach Martin, 273-9: from “Now the days passed slowly and wearily” through “As a matter of fact he was dreaming of eggs and bacon.”

Chapters 17-19 (5:00-6:00)

Daniel Eison, 280-85: from “Next day  the trumpets rang early in the camp” through “The knowledge that the Arkenstone was in the hands of the besiegers burned in their thoughts; also they guessed the hesitation of Bard and his friends, and resolved to strike while they debated.”

Zach Martin and/or Jakob Goldmuth, 285-91: from “Suddenly without a signal they sprang silently forward to attack” through “’The Eagles!’ cried Bilbo once more, but at that moment a stone hurtling from above smote heavily on his helm, and he fell with a crash and knew no more.”

Mary Sykes and Rhetta Wiley, 292-310: from “When Bilbo came to himself, he was literally by himself” through “’Thank goodness!’ said Bilbo laughing, and handed him the tobacco-jar.”

Exeunt omnes.  Finis.