The 39 Steps

Theater Team Produces a Radio Play to Keep Actors in Step
Posted on 12/13/2020
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Hey!  Let’s put on a show!  During a pandemic?  Without patrons?  How?  That is what the high school theater team faced as they thought about students performing this year.

“It had been almost a full year since our theater students last performed. Between March and August, we had to cancel four productions we had planned, so it was time to get creative.” explained Director, Jordan Pollard.  “Radio plays were big in the 1940s and we knew we could produce one safely.”
Inspired by Alfred Hitchcock's classic tale and performed as a live period radio play, The 39 Steps is a fast-paced ride through the signature world of the Master of Suspense. Richard Hannay is visiting 1930s London when he meets Annabella Smith, who is on the run from foreign agents, after a disturbance at a music hall. Later that night, Annabella is murdered and Hannay must then try to break the spy ring and prove his innocence. From an epic train chase to a feisty love interest, Hannay has his work cut out for him as he searches for the truth about the 39 steps. 

“We’re really proud of how our students tackled the challenges that come along with producing a radio play. The students involved in this production have all worked on district plays and musicals in the past, but I think this was a little outside everyone’s comfort zone - which is a good thing!”


“Especially challenging are the sound effects needed for this type of show,” explained Technical Director, Scott Girmscheid.  “Performers have to provide them at precisely the right time and in the right way.  They are integral to the story-telling process.” 

“Teaching the kids about this almost forgotten genre was really fun!  We believe that a new appreciation of this way of telling a story was achieved as well, because the actors had to rely almost entirely on their voices to do it (with the help of a few prop hats).

The 39 Steps was performed on December 11 & 12 at 7:00 p.m. in radio play format with 40s-style costumes and a radio studio set and live streamed to the comfort of ticket holder homes. “The livestream went well,” said producer Zachary Beeksma.  “For all the in-person opportunities we’ve been missing during this time, technology has begun to fill some of the gaps.”

  

Director: Jordan Pollard

Technical Director: Scott Girmscheid

Producer: Zachary Beeksma

Costume Designer: Colleen Leahy

Sound Designer: Dave Kerhin

Stage Manager: Lillian Goetsch

Assistant Stage Manager: Taylor Luck


Cast 

Actor 1………………………………………………….Ryan Jakubiak

Actor 2…………………………………………..Harrison Stauffacher

Actor 3……………………………………………...Patrick Kirkpatrick

Actor 4…………………………………………...Mariah Schaumberg

Actor 5……………………………………………….Melanie Morreau

Actor 6…………………………………………………….Italia Zuniga

Actor 7…………………………………………………...Emily Higgins

Actor 8……...........……..........………………….......….Olivia Gross

Understudy…………………………………………….Jaelynn Smyth