The 39 Steps
Hitchcock Made Hilarious
Original Story by John Buchan
Adaptation by Patrick Barlow
Directed by Angel Hochman
April 19 - 6pm - 8pm
MDI High School Theatre
Audition Excerpts can be found Here
Starting May 6th, rehearsals will take place Monday, Wednesday, and Friday
nights from 6 - 8pm, as well as Saturday from 1pm - 4pm.
August 6, 7, & 9 - 8pm
The Criterion Theatre
About the Show: Originally a novel by author John Buchan, later adapted into a critically acclaimed film by Alfred Hitchcock, The 39 Steps follows the story of a British Everyman who accidentally becomes embroiled in an espionage adventure. Richard Hannay, the story’s leading man, in wrongfully accused of murder, and must work to clear his name, protect his life, and foil sinister spy organization The 39 Steps as they seek to steal British intelligence secrets.
On the stage, The 39 Steps becomes equal parts melodrama and farce, as the story twists around a woefully under-sized and underfunded cast. The performers must juggle the duties of myriad characters, often at the same time, and make the best of make-shift and ad-hoc sets and props, all while delivering an entertaining evening of theatre. The result is a show that’s as much Monty Python as Hitchcock, and is delivered with many more pauses for laughter than the original film’s release.
Richard Hannay (Male, 25-45): The plays leading man, an unassuming British Gentleman that gets swept up into a mysterious (and dangerous) game of espionage. The only “maintained” role in the show.
Annabelle/Margaret/Pamela (Female, 25-45): In order, a seductive German spy, a simple Scottish Farmer’s wife, and a beautiful and proper British lady. All 3 roles will be performed by the same actress, over the course of the show.
The Clowns (Anyone, 18 and up): All other characters in The 39 Steps are performed by a small pool of actors, who run the gamut, from vaudeville performers, to newspaper boys, to agents of enemy states, and back again, sometimes within the same scene.
Love the theatre, but not up for acting?
No problem! ACT’s The 39 Steps is also seeking:
Stagehands, Ushers, Set builders, Donors, Costumers, etc
-All roles in this show will require considerable performance stamina, skill in physical comedy, and a sense of comedic timing, as well an adventurous, flexible, and inventive approach to character.
-The original production of The 39 Steps calls for just 2 clowns. Our production will be casting as many as 6, depending on available talent, with the intention of dividing the clowns’ myriad duties, while working to maintain the comedy and styling of the show
If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to the production team:
What To Expect In Auditions:
“The 39 Steps” is an inventive, strenuous comedic take on a classic spy thriller. It asks a lot of it’s small cast, requiring few actors to bring a variety of characters to life via their line reading, body language, and performance chemistry. Naturally, the production team hopes to use auditions to identify those performers who can best rise to the challenge of this show’s particular needs.
Auditionees should familiarize themselves with the following script excerpts, and be prepared to read from them as a part of the audition process. Particular excerpts and roles will be chosen by the production team during auditions, on an individual basis. Memorization is not required; printed copies of these excerpts will be available at auditions. Auditionees should be prepared to respond to some direction on the part of the production team, and incorporate it into their reading, including linguistic affection, and physical movement. Additionally, auditionees may be asked to take part in some light improvisation.
A Message from the Production Team:
The 39 Steps is being produced by ACT partially as a labor of love on behalf of a number of ACT board members and regulars, who love the theater and love this show. It is also an experimental attempt to expand ACT’s production schedule, and push the standards of material beyond what has been “the usual fare” for ACT in the past decade. The show is a straight play, with a small cast and adult themes, none of which are traits shared with ACT’s most notable recent productions.
The 39 Steps is, admittedly, an ambitious undertaking. It is fast, technical, and energetic, and will require cooperation and commitment on the part of all involved: actors, technical support, and producers. We, the production staff, are prepared to make that commitment, and we’re asking those involved to be prepared to make that same commitment.
The rehearsal and performance schedule will be rigorous and the standards of quality high, but only insofar as we believe the local talent pool is more than capable of rising to the challenge and deserving of this (and future) opportunity to do so. We hope to push the limits of what “community theatre” can be, from a quality standpoint, and send people home from the show astonished by what a committed group of locals can accomplish.
On behalf of The 39 Steps Production Team, we look forward to working with you.