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  • Writer's pictureAlaina Leverenz

WWU to stage whodunit, ‘The 39 Steps’

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have “The 39 Steps,” a fast-paced whodunit for anyone who loves the magic of theatre.

“The 39 Steps,” by Patrick Barlow and John Buchan, will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24-26 with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sept. 26 in Dulany Auditorium at William Woods University.

This award-winning treat is packed with nonstop laughs, where a cast of four plays more than 150 zany characters. It includes an onstage plane crash, handcuffs, missing fingers and some good old-fashioned romance!

In “The 39 Steps,” a man with a boring life meets a woman who says she’s a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon, a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale. A riotous blend of virtuoso performances and inventive stagecraft, “The 39 Steps” amounts to a remarkable evening.

“The 39 Steps is a funny, cleverly written, complex in its simplicity, fast-paced script,” Joe Potter, artistic director of theatre, said. “It offers the four actors, who will play all of the roles, a good challenge for their comic timing, improvisation skills and character development; truly an actor’s tour de force. It combines all the best elements of story-telling and live theatre into a nicely wrapped comic package for the audience.”

Potter will direct the production and design the lighting and sets. Jane Friedman will design the costumes.

The Times reviewed “The 39 Steps” comedy as “A dizzy theatrical game with wit and versatility.”

Season tickets are now on sale and available through the final performance of “The 39 Steps” Sept. 26. Season tickets offer several benefits: a 20 percent savings on regular ticket prices, 33 percent saving on family ticket prices, preferred seating and no standing in long lines at the box office.

Season ticket prices are $30 for adults, $20 for senior citizens ages 62 and above and $15 for children ages 6-12. For more information, or to order season tickets, call the William Woods University Theatre Department at 573-592-4281.

Ticket prices for “The 39 Steps” are $5 for children 6 and older; $7 for students, faculty and staff; $10 for adults; and $6 for seniors, (62+).  The box office is now open. Call 573-592-4267, or go to to purchase tickets.

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