ROSEBURG, Ore., December 2, 2022 — Umpqua Community College’s Visual and Performing Arts department is set to premiere a play, “The 39 Steps,” produced by UCC’s new associate professor and director of theatre, Bart McHenry. The play is action-packed with a storyline about an ordinary man on the run for his life after meeting a woman who turns out to be a spy.
As a Tony-Award winner inspired by a 1915 novel and subsequent 1935 film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, this century-old story is credited with inspiring today’s “man on the run” stories that include the Jason Bourne espionage series.
The play’s storyline begins when a dull man meets a woman with a thick accent who claims to be a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered, and a mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is soon hot on the man’s trail in a massive manhunt that climaxes with a death-defying finale.
“Beneath the espionage, the drama and the comedy, the play serves as a reminder that evil can lurk under the veneer of civilization and a theme revealed in the impromptu speech of a man on the run, who could be any one of us,” McHenry said.
“The 39 Steps” opens at UCC’s Centerstage Theater in the Whipple Fine Arts Building on Thursday, Dec. 8 at 7 p.m., with subsequent shows set for Dec. 9 at 7 p.m., Dec. 10 at 3 and 7 p.m., and Dec. 11 at 3 p.m. Admission is $10, cash-only at the door.
(in alphabetical order)
Anna Bozovich: Annabella Schmit, Salesman 2, Mrs. Higgens, Margaret, Pilot 1, Mrs. Dunwoody, Heavy 1, Sheep, Mr. McGarrigle, Chief Inspector Albright
Anna is a freshman in her first play and loves all art. She plans on transferring to Southern Oregon University to further develop her acting career.
Tyler Burdett: Compere, Drunkard, Salesman 1, Policeman 2, Crofter, Pilot 2, Professor Jordan, Sheriff, Heavy 2
Tyler is a sophomore who loves acting. He is excited to continue his passion and has written a TV script he plans to pitch.
Kat Grammon: Mrs. Memory, Cleaning Lady, Paperboy, Porter, Policeman 1, Mrs. Jordan, Inspector, Mrs. McQuarrie, Sheep, Mrs. McGarrigle
Kat is a freshman Theatre Arts major and would like study theatre abroad in England.
Elaina Harris: Pamela Edwards, Reporter
Elaina is a sophomore and loves acting in plays and musicals. She works as a phlebotomist at Mercy Medical Center and plans to move forward in her medical career.
Porter Merrell: Richard Hannay
Porter is a freshman and loves theater. He also enjoys writing for the UCC newspaper and plans to transfer to the University of Oregon to study Film Writing.
Anthony Gordon: Lighting Designer, Propmaker
Anthony is President of the Film Club, a UCC special events technician, and the public relations officer for student government.
Shianne Kelm: Stage Manager
Shianne is a freshman and has had a great time working on the show. She plans to transfer to study sociology.
Robin Bruns: Lightboard Operator
Robin has enjoyed being part of this production and is a freshman who writes for the student newspaper.