Handful of cast members juggle 140 roles in The '39 Steps'

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Cast members for Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre’s upcoming production of The 39 Steps confess to having a recurring stage nightmare of mixing up their characters on stage.

Jeremy Medlin and Victoria Schehl star in the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre comedy adaptatation of Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller "The 39 Steps."  Steve Walpert/Special
Steve Walpert/Special
Jeremy Medlin and Victoria Schehl star in the Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre comedy adaptatation of Alfred Hitchcock's classic thriller "The 39 Steps."

“In one scene, I play six characters,” said Ted Newton, one of four cast members in the show, which opens Sept. 9 for three consecutive weekends.

He and castmate Wes Hennings play all but a handful of the 140 characters in the show. They juggle multiple characters, costumes, accents and mannerisms for this show in which Alfred Hitchcock meets comedy.

“It’s a challenge keeping it all in your mind and making sure you aren’t using the same accent that you did in a previous scene,” said Newton.

The humor and shtick have been added in this adaptation.

“It’s a very exciting and fun show. It’s a melodrama; the play takes on the old black-and-white version of the film,” said director Steve Walpert.

While Newton and Hennings are trying to keep their characters, Jeremy Medlin only plays one role.

“I have it easy. I just stay on stage the whole time,” he said. “The hardest part is not laughing at my fellow cast members.”

The 39 Steps is the season opener for Fort Gordon Dinner Theatre. Other shows this season include Christmas Belles Nov. 11-12, 18-19 and Dec. 2-3; Children of Eden, Feb. 24-25, March 2-3 and 9-11; Game Show May 11-12, 18-19 and 24-26 and Agatha Christie’s Witness for the Prosecution July 13-14, 20-21 and 26-28.

“We have worked hard to come up with a season that would offer variety of style, genre and visual content, and also shows that would appeal to both audience members and the performers we need in order to put those plays on the stage. We think it’s going to be an exciting year for everyone involved,” Walpert said.

ONSTAGE

WHAT: The 39 Steps

WHEN: Sept. 9-10, 16-17 and 22-24; dinner 7 p.m., show 8 p.m.

TICKETS: $40 for civilians, $38 for senior citizens 65 years-old and older, military retirees, Department of the Army civilians and active-duty service members E7 and higher; $30 for active-duty service members E6 and below; $25 for the show only.

LEARN MORE: (706) 793-8552, fortgordon.com


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