Theater is back on the Hill! Now, students have the opportunity to see “The 39 Steps” in the Fenwick theater this week. I was able to interview cast member Andrew Murphy who shed some light on what the play is about as well as some details about the characters he is playing.
Andrew stated that “The 39 Steps” “is a comedy/action/romance spy story” that follows character Richard Hannay. Richard “meets a mysterious woman and she winds up dead in his apartment. He is sent running from the police on an insane adventure attempting to solve the mystery of ‘What are the 39 steps?’” In total, Murphy plays eight different characters. There are a total of about 28 characters in the show; however, the show is performed by only five actors. Murphy says that playing so many characters has been challenging: “Especially since the show takes place in England, we all have to speak with accents, which makes the character work even more interesting and challenging. Everyone has done a really great job with the demands of the show and how to juggle so many characters.”
As a Covid precaution, the theater department decided to form two casts. This was in case someone tested positive and had to quarantine during the week of performances. Andrew stated that “each cast consists of five people and performs four shows.” He feels thankful that the theater department was able to think ahead “because it allows for a small cast to prevent a large outbreak.” The two-cast system also allowed for more students to participate in the play since the play only requires five actors. Murphy included that this small cast has allowed the cast to grow close and stated, “We all got to bond as a whole cast as well as within our own casts.”
The last four shows of “The 39 Steps” are at the end of this week. Murphy’s cast, the Ottawa cast, performs Friday, Nov. 12 and Saturday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. The London cast performs this Thursday, Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, Nov. 13 at 2:00 p.m. in Fenwick Theater. Murphy included that students should try to “check out both casts if you can!”