Scottsdale Community College’s drama department’s suspenseful production, “The 39 Steps,” thrilled Valley audiences on Friday with brilliant student performances

only five actors played 50 characters for this production (Kye Graves)

The SCC production of “The 39 Steps” is set in Europe, London and Scotland with main character Richard Hannay, (played by Nick Loope) trying to evade the police as well as the so-called espionage, The 39 Steps, when he is accused of a murder he did not commit. Hannay’s main goal throughout the play is to uncover the 39 Steps in hopes of proving his innocence.

What needs to be said is how amazing every stage performance looks.

From intricate, nostalgic sets to detailed costumes and fun quick changes, this play was the culmination of what makes theater so enjoyable.

CSC’s Theater Department Head and Director, Don Williams, embraced the challenges of this production and, in a written statement in the poster, explained the complexity of this play.

“What happens when you mix Vaudeville, Hitchcock, Monty Python and a theater group trying to do something ‘completely different’? You get all 39 steps,” Williams wrote.

The most disappointing aspect of this production is that audiences were deprived of three additional performances originally scheduled, but with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic there has been an unfortunate setback. A March 4 opening night was moved to March 11. But even with the delay and limited performances, the cast didn’t miss a beat on opening night.

It’s not a production that every troupe can master on stage.

A meager cast of five actors playing 50 roles and portraying each character as if they’ve lived them all for years isn’t easy.

The top-notch cast of Nick Loope (Richard Hannay), Ashley Thomson (Annabella/Pamela/Margaret), Alexa Maez, Tyler Sines, and Jordan Yanofsky handled their respective characters with ease.

Maez, Sines, and Yanofsky were all tasked with playing the rest of the 46 characters, even having to switch characters on stage with some quick creative changes. Loope and Thomson each played lead roles with all of Thomson’s characters serving as catalysts to move the story forward and push Loope’s character further towards uncovering the mystery surrounding him, The 39 Steps.

Sam D. Gomez