ESU Theatre Presents a Comic Adaptation of a Hitchcock Masterpiece

November 4, 2016

Emporia State University Theatre will present “The 39 Steps,” adapted by Patrick Barlow from the novel of the same name by John Buchan. The show features Richard Hannay (Gabriel Diaz-Serrano, freshman, Olathe), a Scotsman living a completely ordinary and even boring life—until he meets Pamela (Bailey B. Carter, senior, Topeka), a mysterious woman claiming to be a spy. After spending the night with her, he awakens the next morning to find her murdered. He soon finds himself on the run from a mysterious organization known as “The 39 Steps.” Hannay chases across Britain in order to save himself and get back to his ordinary life.

The show features over 150 characters despite its small cast of four. Most of those characters are played by two clowns (Cameron Reynolds, senior, Louisburg and Ryan Howerton, senior, Haysville). Combining elements from classic spy novels, gags from Monty Python and the dramatic elements of Alfred Hitchcock, this show is filled with thrills, laughs, and a death-defying finale.

“The 39 Steps” is under the direction of Theresa Mitchell, who began working at ESU in 1999.

“I am most excited to create a pants-on-fire paced spy thriller with a HUGE theatrical twist with a fantastic student driven company.” Mitchell said.

This will be the 30th play she has directed at ESU. 

Mitchell will have the assistance of stage manager Tyler Lang (senior, Wichita) and assistant stage manager Andrew Ralston (sophomore, Topeka). Nancy J. Pontius is designing the set and lighting, and Evan Eisenbarth (senior, Cassoday) will design the many costumes with help from Costumer Amanda Dura. Assistant Professor Dan Matisa serves the production as Dialect coach. Chris Lohkamp will serve as both technical director and sound designer.

“The 39 Steps” runs Nov. 30 through Dec. 3  at 7:30 pm. All performances will be in the Karl C. Bruder Theatre in King Hall, 1301 Market Street. Tickets can be reserved at the university box office or by calling 620-341-6378.



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