It will truly be a family affair February 1st through 3rd at Buhler Hall in Gretna when the Penner Theatre Troupe presents the story "The 39 Steps" by Alfred Hitchkock.

Brothers Scott, Ken and Bruce Penner, along with sister Jan Funk, will be playing every, single character in the production.

"It began with somebody that wrote the book in the '30s, Alfred Hitchcock picked up the story, wrote an episode for it, and now fifty years later, a guy in Britain adopted it for theatre, which is a spoof on the play," explained Bruce about the play's creation. "It could have used a lot more characters, but the fun comes when you cram four people into filling all the roles. So, it's about a spy and this unfortunate bystander, who gets caught up with it all, and the dangers they meet together." 

The Penner's have put on several productions over the years, and this is the first time sister Jan will be part of the fun.

"I didn't really have a choice getting mixed up with these fellows as they are all my brothers," she said with a laugh. "But as far as the play goes, they finally just let me come and be part of what they're doing. As the little sister, I've wanted to for years, so it's fun to be able to actually get in here and do it."

Jan is playing three characters, all three with different accents, not an easy thing to do.

"I actually really love it, because it lets me keep them straight," she said while poking some fun at her older siblings. "I know exactly what I'm going into next time, because I know where exactly I am. With the rest of them, (referring to her brothers and the roles they're playing) they don't have a hot clue, and good luck to them." 

Ken is looking forward to getting on stage, once again, and sharing a new story with the community.

"That's exactly it, we are just here to present something to community, put a smile on their faces," he noted. "I told my wife years ago, when we were dating, I was put on this earth to entertain, not realizing it back then that I'm actually here entertaining."

Scott only has one role on his script, but it's one of the lead roles in the play... the bystander who gets swept into this spy story.

"Richard Hannay, he's in a bit of a slump," shared Scott. "He's finding himself in his hometown, and nobody really to to hang out with, and somehow gets wrapped up in a spy story. This gives him meaning when he was looking for meaning."

"The 39 Steps" by the Penner Theatre Troupe is at Buhler Hall Gretna February 1st through 3rd, with shows at 7:30pm nightly. Tickets are available online at or by calling 204-327-5891.

poster for The 39 Steps

You can listen to CFAM Morning Show host Chris Sumner's conversation with Bruce, Ken, Scott and Jan, below.