BAR HARBOR — Acadia Community Theater presents three performances of “The 39 Steps” beginning Aug. 6 at 8 p.m. at the Criterion Theatre.
The play is based on the Alfred Hitchcock film of the same name, which is one of several films based on the 1915 adventure novel of the same name by John Buchan.
The play follows the story of a British everyman who accidentally becomes embroiled in an espionage adventure. Richard Hannay, the story’s leading man, is wrongfully accused of murder and must work to clear his name, protect his life, and foil the sinister spy organization, The 39 Steps, as it seeks to steal British intelligence secrets.
“On the stage, ‘The 39 Steps’ becomes equal parts melodrama and farce, as the story twists around a woefully under-sized and underfunded cast,” Assistant Producer Joanna Robinson-Clarke said. “The performers must juggle the duties of myriad characters, often at the same time, and make the best of make-shift and ad-hoc sets and props, all while delivering an entertaining evening of theatre.
“The result is a show that’s as much Monty Python as Hitchcock and is delivered with many more pauses for laughter than the original film’s release.”
The full group of more than 30 characters is played by a cast of five: Nathanael Lee, Misty Jordan, Thomas VanGorder, Seth Clarke and Ethan Leonard.
They are backed by Director Angel Hochman, Producer Matthew Hochman, Robinson-Clarke, stage manager Doug VanGorder and set designer Seth Clarke.
“Since my husband and I joined Acadia Community Theater we have wanted to expand our offerings and capture more of the talent available in our community,” Angel Hochman said. “It was only natural that we create a summer show to do so. ‘The 39 Steps’ provides an opportunity to showcase our community’s talent and to share it with locals and visitors alike.”
In adding a summer performance to its repertoire, ACT hopes to provide access to interesting theater and expand the community it serves.
“Our goal is to make theater more accessible to the population at large, and we hope that this show and future summer shows will expand ACT’s repertoire with a more adult focus,” board member Mark Puglisi said.
“This, along with our Camp Beech Cliff summer camp and sponsorship of Barn Arts’ Shakespeare by the Sea, is part of our ongoing efforts to provide an opportunity for the community to participate in the theater arts.”
Performances are set for Monday, Aug. 6, Tuesday, Aug. 7, and Thursday, Aug. 9, all at 8 p.m.
Tickets are $20 for orchestra seating and $25 for balcony, and are available for sale at the Criterion Box Office and online at criteriontheatre.org.
In addition, a small reception featuring an exclusive meet and greet with the cast is planned for Aug. 9. RSVP to Robinson-Clarke at [email protected].