THE 39 STEPS Opens Today at Carrollwood Players Theatre

By: Jun. 17, 2016
Opening today at Carrollwood Players Theatre is The 39 Steps, a madcap spy spoof based on the 1935 movie by Alfred Hitchcock. Part spy novel, part comedy, The 39 Steps relies on just four actors to play over 150 roles in the whirlwind adventure.

Jim Moss plays hero Richard Hannay who learns from a beautiful spy with a thick accent of an international espionage plot. When he takes her home, she is murdered. Soon a mysterious organization known as "The 39 Steps" is hot on his trail in a nationwide manhunt.

Actress Joie Marsh does triple duty portraying three characters - Annabella, Pamela, and Margaret - in the frenetic show while the hundreds of remaining characters are divided between clown #1, Jeff Rousch and clown #2, Trish Farber.

The play twists and turns and turns like a Busch Gardens' roller coaster and the fourth wall is completely shattered in this performance.

"The audience is swept up into the action, and nearly 100 characters are brought to the stage by only 4 actors with a little assistance from some Backstage Psychos," Director Marc S. Sanders advised that people would have to see the production to discover just who the Psychos were.

As an undergraduate at USF, Sanders wrote a thesis comparing the Alfred Hitchcock film to the original novel.

"The 39 Steps has always been one of those stories that I never go looking for, but always seems to find me. Jump nearly 25 years later and I've been invited to direct a stage adaptation that is an absolute, madcap farcical presentation," he said. "It's been fun, and only this wonderful cast and crew could have made this so entertaining. This is sure to be a crowd pleaser."

Carrollwood Players is located at 4333 Gunn Hwy. The 39 Steps runs June 17 through July 2 with performances Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., with Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20. Senior, student, military and CABA discount tickets are $17. Group discounts are available for parties of 10 or more. Tickets are available at For group reservations for parties of 10 or more, email

For the best seating, lowest prices, and exclusive privileges, Carrollwood Players invites guests to become season ticket holders. 2016-2017 Subscription Packages start with as few as 6 or 9 plays, or new this coming season, see all 11 shows and musicals throughout the season for the best theatre experience.

Photo by Isabel Bertram