Story by Ashley Traylor, Staff writer
Halloween is quickly approaching, which means the Sock and Buskin theatre department is preparing to perform the annual screen show of the Rocky Horror Picture Show at 9 p.m. on Oct. 31 in the Curris Center Ballroom.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show is based off the 1975 musical comedy horror film directed by Jim Sharman. The story centers on protagonists Brad and Janet who are on a trip together when they pop a tire and stumble upon an old castle. While searching for a phone, a mad scientist, Dr. Frank-N-Furter, seduces the couple and insanity hits.
Actors from Murray State perform a shadow of the original show, while the film plays on a large screen in the background.
Auditions for the shadow show were at the beginning of the semester and practices for the performance began Sept. 28. The actors and actresses practice each week Monday through Friday at 10 p.m. for an hour.
“For typical rehearsals, we go to the dance studio in Old Fine Arts and we have everything blocked off in scenes. So far, we have just been practicing the scenes in chronological order,” Nick Newsam, senior theatre major playing Dr. Frank-N-Furtor, said. “Now since we are in the last week of it, we are doing hard-core choreography reviews and we are going to start running the whole show over and over.”
The show is a free event. Prop bags have been sold in the past years but Colleen Ohler, senior director of Rocky Horror, said they will not be sold this year.
The prop bags included rice, toast, water and other objects for the audience to throw throughout the show, but this year the attendants are encouraged to bring their own props.
“At certain parts of the movie there are things called callbacks so you can yell back at the movie,” Ohler said. “Some parts you actually throw things. There is a wedding scene and you throw rice. There’s a scene where it is raining so people throw water. And there is a scene where one of the characters makes a toast so people throw toast.”
Last year, the department kept adding chairs to the ballroom because there were more than 700 people in attendance.
“We can expect close to the same number. It fluctuates, of course, year to year, but our numbers have continually risen in the last few years,” Ohler said.
The show goes on every year because of enthusiasm of students, making the Rocky Horror Picture Show the second most attended event on campus. “One year, several years ago, it almost did not happen and students showed up anyway because it was almost canceled,” Ohler said. “So it is really the enthusiasm of the students, faculty and even some of the professors that come year after year.”
Newsam and Ohler both encourage students to dress up, whether in a Halloween costume or a character from the movie and to be prepared to have a good time.
“Bring a good sense of fun and know that it is audience participation and you might be pulled up on stage at one point,” Ohler said.
“Be prepared to have a good time and please participate. And by all means,” Newsam said. “Don’t be shy.”