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The Fall Drama Steps into the Spotlight

“I am so proud of the work the students did to bring the show to life. It was not easy! But the buoyant mood and packed audiences in the Black Box during performances proved that all the hard work was worth it,” exclaims Jesse Hawley, teacher, and director of the Fall Drama.

Mix a Hitchcock masterpiece with a juicy spy novel, add a dash of Monty Python and you have the intriguing, thrilling, riotous and unmissable comedy that is The 39 Steps. Hawley says she selected this play for its pure escapist fun. “My reasoning for picking this play to direct this fall was rooted in my belief that comedy is the best remedy for this particular moment,” she continues, “This play required commitment, collaboration, a sense of humor, and a bit of extravagant showmanship—and it just felt right.”

The show hurtles a notorious fugitive and his skeptical love interest from a London music hall to Scotland’s most remote highlands. This fast-paced tale of an ordinary man on an extraordinarily entertaining adventure includes a chase on the Flying Scotsman, the first theatrical bi-plane crash ever staged, and the sensational death-defying finale in the London Palladium.

“The process of creating The 39 Steps was really fun from start to finish. Because there were so many fast-moving parts, both the cast and crew had to jump in and commit to making big, bold choices from the start. For an actor, that might mean finding and committing to an extreme voice or physicality for a particular character. For someone on the tech crew, that might mean a mad rush to find a fake hand or figuring out how to get a waterfall on stage in three seconds or less,” says Hawley. “Everyone in the group—both on stage and off—depended on each other to get the job done.”

The 39 Steps opened on Thursday, November 3, 2022, and ran through Saturday, November 5, 2022, in the Black Box. All three performances were sold out, with many on the waiting list. If you were unable to attend in-person, please enjoy the slideshow below!

Congratulations to the following Cast & Crew on three wonderful performances of The 39 Steps:

  • Alexandra Abu-Raya ’26
  • Duncan Albritton ’26
  • Vivienne Chen ‘23
  • Jennifer Guo ’25
  • Jace Lee ’25
  • Anthony Kim ’24
  • Natalie Konowicz ’24
  • Ashley Li ’24
  • Kolapat Mongkhonvanit ’23
  • Chris Rhee ’23
  • Brook Seim ’23
  • Pesto Sia ’23
  • Silvia Thompson ’26
  • Hennely Wang ’23
  • Zara Wilson ’25
  • Yuno Yamakawa ’24
  • Richard Ye ’24
  • Ivana Zhang ’24

Directed by: Jesse Hawley and John Heavey
Technical Direction: Charlie Babbitt ’08

Adapted by Patrick Barlow
From an original concept by Simon Corbie & Nobby Dimon

Poster Artwork: Eden Alberich ‘24

Photos courtesy of PhotoPool members: Andy Mai ’24, Tom Habanananda ’23, Jerry Sang '23