The Concordia College Theatre department is gearing up for its opening performances of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The show’s opening night is Thursday, Nov 10 at 8 p.m., with additional shows Friday, Nov 11 at 8 p.m. and 11:55 p.m., and Saturday, Nov 12 at 8 p.m. and 11:55 p.m.
“I think the audience is going to love it,” said Patrice Eakman. “It’s not a show you need to love musicals to enjoy.”
Eakman plays Janet in the upcoming production. “It’s really cool to play such a female powerhouse of a character,” said Eakman. This is her sixth show performing at Concordia and her fifth one performing on the mainstage.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a musical/horror originally directed by Jim Sharman. The movie first came out in 1975 and has been adapted to an onstage musical. Parts of Rocky have been used in popular movies and TV shows like “Glee” and “The Perks of Being A Wallflower.”
The production surrounds two main characters, Brad and Janet, who end up stuck at the mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. The show explores queerness, sexuality, and gender. Dr. Frank-N-Furter is a transvestite scientist, and while at his home, Brand and Janet are exposed to a ton of different characters through elaborate song and dance, until Dr. Frank-N-Furter reveals his latest creation: Rocky.
Audiences all over love this cult classic. The Fargo Theater hosted a Halloween showing of Rocky and they do almost every year. “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has an official website where you can find showings near you. The show has more offerings around Halloween, but you can find showings all year long.
Audience members typically dress up as the characters or in promiscuous clothing when attending the show. Audience participation is a big part of this show as well.
“People are invited to do callbacks, and we encourage that kind of excitement,” said stage manager Liv Meinders. Callbacks are a set of lines for the audience. When a cast member says something, the audience would then yell back.
During the song “Sweet Transvestite,” Frank-N-Furter sings the line: “I see you shiver with antici—” then the audience yells out, “Say it!” and he finishes the line “—pation!” This is just one example of callbacks throughout the show.
They have two tables set up near the stage. “If you sit in the pit you are volunteering to participate,” said Meinders. This would include reading short parts of the script and potentially interacting with characters. In addition to this, some cast members might even be going out into the audience.
This is Meinders’ second show as the lead stage manager.
“The show is fun to listen to, and people can just come to rock out. We’re hoping for the audience to get rowdy,” Meinders said.
Because of the sexual nature of the content, there is always the fear of backlash. They have not received any backlash or negative feedback yet, said Meinders.
“The main thing is making the audience aware of the sexually explicit content, us being aware that not everyone is comfortable with that subject matter,” said Meinders.
All that being said, the cast and crew of Rocky are incredibly excited to finally get to perform. Eakman is most excited to have a live audience. Meinders is most excited to see the final product.