The 39 Steps, the latest Theatre Wesleyan production, is a comedy that takes the audience on a mysterious interactive European spy chase.
“It’s your classic spy story and this show just heightens it and makes it funny,” said Dean Phillips II, a sophomore theatre major and cast member. “It turns all the cliches of that standard story on its side while also still having a main character you can like and want to see succeed.”
The play was written by Patrick Barlow and adapted from both a 1915 novel and Alfred Hitchcock’s 1935 film. Phillips said that one of the most difficult parts of preparing for the production was giving each character his or her own identity.
“I play multiple characters from multiple parts of Europe. Making sure that we separate each character as clearly as possible and getting our accents down will help bring the script to life,” said cast member Carlos Brumfield, a senior theatre major.
Phillips and Brumfield agree that the most difficult part of the production is the accents.
“Accent work is already tricky,” said Phillips. “However, this show has three of the actors, myself, Carlos Brumfield, and Clarissa Murillo, play several different roles with several different voices.”
T39 Steps is directed to be an interactive experience, Phillips said.
“There is a part, and I won’t give it away, that takes place actually in the audience,” Phillips said. “It’s a fight, sort of, and with the way we will have built the audience area I think people will really like that and be surprised when that part happens.”
“I don’t want to give too much away but it’s going to be cool,” Brumfield said.
According to Phillips, the script was written to be fast paced.
“It’s a high mile-per-hour comedy. Not only are there quick changes, there are puns, physical comedy, fourth wall humor,” he said.
He also said the production has little bit of everything: romance, action, mystery, and laughs.
39 Steps was produced to be entertaining and includes the five-member cast taking on more than 30 roles, Phillips said.
“I’m working with a phenomenal team, and so much hard work is going into this production. If you’re thinking of seeing the show, go see it, you will not regret it.” he said.
39 Steps runs Feb. 11-13 and 18-20 at 7:30 p.m. There is also a 2 p.m. matinee on Feb. 21. Tickets are $5 for faculty, students and senior citizens. General admission tickets are $10. tickets can be reserved by calling (817) 531-4211. All performances are at the Thad Smotherman Theatre, which is on the campus at the corner of Avenue E and Binkley Street.