Renovated Wagner Theatre Unveiled with “39 Steps” Production

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Ohio University Lancaster Theatre’s spring semester production, The 39 Steps, is serving as a public unveiling of the newly renovated Wagner Theatre, with its state-of-the-art lighting and sound system.

The 39 Steps was a film directed by Alfred Hitchcock, based on the novel by John Buchan and adapted for the stage by Patrick Barlow. It’s a funny ‘whodunit’ — a man with a boring life meets a woman with a thick accent who says she’s a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered. A mysterious organization called “The 39 Steps” is hot on the man’s trail in a nationwide manhunt that climaxes in a death-defying finale.

“There are 33 scenes and every actor moves quickly,” said Victor Jones, artistic director and lecturer of Theatre. “All five members of the cast are changing costumes and moving all the set changes all at the same time while they are playing all of those characters, it is an impressive production.”

Just over $200,000 was raised for renovations to the Wagner Theatre. The donations allowed for improvements to the sound system and theatre acoustics, as well as a new lighting system and many aesthetic improvements.

The theatre was built in the 1960s and the improvements were long overdue for the facility. With the improved venue, the Theatre program will have better equipment to enhance productions and serve as a prime destination to host visiting artists and performers as well as a venue for lectures by nationally-known speakers.

“What has been accomplished is amazing and in such a short amount of time,” said Jones. “It really improves the whole level of performance.”

The 39 Steps runs through April 2. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit