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.


About Samford University – Samford University is a premier nationally ranked private university deeply rooted in its Christian mission. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th oldest institution of higher education in the United States. U.S. News & World Report ranks Samford 4th among regional universities in the South. Samford enrolls 5,619 students from 44 states, the District of Columbia and 29 other countries in its 10 academic units: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy, and public health. Samford also fields 17 NCAA Division I teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference.