Posted by Sean Flynt on 2011-09-15

The Michael J. and Mary Anne Freeman Theatre and Dance Series at Samford University will present The 39 Steps, by Alfred Hitchcock, Sept. 29-Oct. 2.  

The Tony Award-winning comedy thriller--adapted by Patrick Barlow from a novel by John Buchan and the movie of Alfred Hitchcock-- is the tale of a man caught up in an international espionage conspiracy. It features multiple characters but calls for only a few actors.  

The play also makes clever use of the technical limitations Hitchcock faced in his 1935 film, as well as the film's sincere, if over-eager, acting style. Director Don Sandley said that although modern audiences might snicker at the melodramatic acting of the cinematic adaptation, "the film still works". "I am sure that is why Patrick Barlow felt the need to write this lovingly hilarious adaptation for the stage," Sandley said.  

Sandley noted that the play presents an exciting and entertaining technical challenge. Just imagine, he said, "a full length adventure film with fifty plus characters performed by only six actors and a minimal set--get ready for a wild ride!" 

The 39 Steps will be performed Sept. 29-Oct.1 at 7:30 p.m. in Samford's Harrison Theatre, and Oct. 2 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 (adults,) $9 (55+) and $6 (students/children). Purchase tickets online at or call (205) 726-2853.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.