Mix Hitchcock with Monty Python and You Get “The 39 Steps”

Ernesto MejiaPhoto courtesy of: Georgia Southern University

Ernesto MejiaPhoto courtesy of: Georgia Southern University

By Gabriel Williams, Staff Writer

Pandora Crumpton and Elijah Doane act out their lead roles as Pamela Edwards and Richard Hannay. Photo by georgiasouthern.edu.

The first play of the semester presented by the Masquers theatre group on campus will be “The 39 Steps.” Under the direction of associate professor of theatre, Dr. Peter Mellen, the play will be put on Thursday and again on Friday at 7:30 pm in the Jenkins Hall Mainstage Theatre. The play is a comedy-drama that will feature Armstrong students taking on a wide variety of roles. The play is described as “juicy spy novel meets Monty Python.”

This rendition of “The 39 Steps” is a reproduction of the 1935 comedy mystery film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, which entails the intense and fast-paced journey of an ordinary civilian as he stumbles into a huge conspiracy among a group of spies and encounters strange dilemmas along the way.

“It’s full-of-excitement drama and I hope comedy,” Mellen mentions.

Although the play was originally designed to have four cast members, Mellen has expanded the cast members, and thereby adding a little hint of flavor to the show.

“Most people are playing multiple roles, which is one of the gimmicks of the play,” Mellen added.

The original show has received two Tony and Drama Desk Awards for its non-stop laughs, incredible characters and hints of romance.

The cast and crew members wanted to give students a live production of the play while incorporating key theatre elements to keep audiences on their feet and intrigued in every moment.

Dr. Peter Mellen works with two of his actors during rehearsals. Photo by georgiasouthern.edu

Moreover, there will be many more intensifying moments. Some of which will include a daring chase on a train as well as a scene where one of the characters gets chased by airplane.

Last July, some students were already introduced to the play as it was being performed for its original run of four nights, and although the turnout for the summer was great, the administrative staff saw fit to bring the play back for the fall so more of the student body.

Not only are the cast members excited to perform again this fall, so is the larger student body.

Rashad Washington, a senior theatre major said, “I’ve been coming to plays by Armstrong for a while and I enjoy watching these moments.”

Jessica Sparks, a sophomore biology student said, “I’m excited to see what all the students have in store this year.”

Now that Armstrong has officially merged with Georgia Southern, the show is expected to have a great turnout.

So, grab a friend or roommate and enjoy the show!

Tickets are free for Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff with a valid I.D. General admission tickets are $12, with discounts available for military, seniors and children. Tickets can be purchased by calling 912-344-2801, visiting georgiasouthern.edu/armstrongtickets or by visiting the Fine Arts Box Office in the Fine Arts Hall.

There will also be an open meet-and-greet and auditions open to the entire student body for any student who wants to be in the upcoming show on Monday, Aug. 27 at 6 p.m. Stop by Jenkins Hall for more information as well as a brief list of upcoming shows.