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Comedic thriller ‘The 39 Steps’ kicks off LU Theatre season

39 StepsLamar University’s Department of Theatre and Dance opens the 2015-16 season with the fast-paced whodunit, “The 39 Steps,” Sept. 24 - 27, in the Studio Theatre. Adapted by Patrick Barlow from Alfred Hitchcock’s film, this Tony-Award winning play mixes Hitchcock's cinematic masterpiece with a juicy spy novel and adds a dash of Monty Python.

“It’s an epic story on a small scale,” said Brian LeTraunik, instructor of theatre and the play’s director. “It’s interactive in a new way that will challenge the audience to use their imagination, but I think they’ll really enjoy it. It has the suspense of Hitchcock and the zaniness of Monty Python, and we’ve not done a show this broadly comedic at LU in years.”

In “The 39 Steps,” Richard Hannay discovers that the beautiful woman he meets at the theatre is a foreign spy, entangled in international espionage. When she turns up dead in his flat, he must go on the lam in a race from London to Scotland and back to prove that he is not a killer. Frenetic and full of surprises, the play is a clever farce of espionage, romance and adventure tales.

The cast of four features Nathan Crump of Pine Forest as Richard Hannay; Sydney Haygood, Houston, as Annabella/Pamela/Margaret; Tracie VanLaw, Winnie, as Clown 1; and Eyenkebi Itima, Houston, as Clown 2.

Performances of “The 39 Steps” will be in the Studio Theatre, located within the University Theatre, at at 4400 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Parkway on the LU campus. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Sept. 24 through 26, and a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, Sept. 27.

Tickets are $15 for general admission; $10 for senior citizens, non-LU students and LU faculty/staff; and $7 for LU students. The play runs 90 minutes with one 10-minute intermission.

Call (409) 880-2250 for reservations and additional information, or visit To learn more about upcoming events from the College of Fine Arts and Communication, visit

Rehearsal photo from The 39 Steps

LU students Tracie Van Law, Sydney Haygood, Nathan Crump and Eyenkebi Itima rehearse a scene from "The 39 Steps." Photo by Brian LeTraunik.