Midnight showing of ‘Rocky Horror’ engages audience
Jacob Waring — Online Editor
Crescent Players, College Democrats and other students jumped to the left, took a step to the right then put their hands on their hips to do the pelvic thrust. They were dancing along to “Time Warp” as the musical number played on the screen behind them. Rocky Horror Picture Show was screened in Kendall Drama Lab, at midnight, Nov. 1.
President of Crescent Players, Vittoria Cristante, a senior, said that no one has hosted a showing of the cult classic in two years.
“The College Democrats [were] co-hosting with us. They came to us. They said, ‘Hey, we need this in the past. Would you be interested in collaborating?’,” she said. “And we said, ‘Yes, we have the perfect space with the spaces perfect for hosting.’”
Cristante said they wanted to honor the authentic traditions of the movie with all the shenanigans such as throwing bread and shouting profanities. She said they had elected to not use the rice and the confetti.
“We have complete prop bags for everybody,” Cristante said. “We got all the shenanigans. We want the cuss words thrown out. We want everything that we want to be responding as authentic as possible.”
Before the movie’s showing, theater major Tyler Newkirk, a junior, had those who had never seen the film to come up and have the letter “V” drawn on their faces. The “V” signifies that they are Rocky Horror Virgins. Newkirk then had all the newbies recite the “virgin pledge.”
“I, State Your Name. Pledge allegiance to the lips of the Rocky Horror Picture Show and to the decadence for which it stands, one movie, under Richard O’Brien, with sensuous daydreams, erotic nightmares, and sins of the flesh for all,” said Newkirk, “and I promise to be creative and not repeat anything anyone else says.”
The audience members were then instructed to shout vulgarities whenever a specific character appears on screen or their name is said. Newspapers were used in response to the movie’s earlier scene of when Brad and Janet were caught in the storm. When Dr. Scott entered the lab, Brad cried out “Great Scott,” and everyone threw a piece of toilet paper at the screen. Bread was thrown, party hats were worn and laughter was abound.
Computer Science major Cameron Rho, a senior, said that the interactive elements of the screening aided in bringing everyone together as a group.
“Really hyped up the group dynamic and the experience wasn’t just watching a movie, it was a whole activity,” Rho said. “I really liked the throwing the bread part. That was probably my favorite of the interactive things.”
Many students said the screening was a spectacularly fun experience. Communication major Liam Welsh, a freshman, was one of the students who said they had a blast. It was his first time seeing the movie too.
“I’m glad [my friends] put this on me because I love doing this outside of school,” he said.
Political science secondary education major, Irene Machia, a junior said she did not know much about the movie but that made the experience better for her.
“I thought it was super fun. I didn’t know a lot going into it, but I think it was better that way,” she said. “It was a lot of surprises and a lot of funny jokes that luckily weren’t ruined,” Machia also said that watching the movie for the first time with a group of people made the experience richer rather than viewing the movie in solitude.
“I think when you’re in a group of people and you have call outs and props to interact with,” she said, “it makes it much more of a community experience and it makes it much more immersive.”
Photo credit: Jacob Waring