GW Forbidden Planet Productions is inviting alumni and doling out prop bags for its 25th anniversary production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a 1975 musical horror-comedy film that has developed a cult-like following over the past 45 years among theaters and moviegoers. Co-director Alisa Kingsbury said alumni of all previous “Rocky” casts are welcomed back to enjoy the show, and producers will distribute interactive props like noisemakers and glow sticks for audience members to interact with actors.
Opening night this year will be held on Halloween for the first time in six years at 9 p.m. in the Marvin Center Grand Ballroom. You can also snag show tickets for a Friday performance at midnight or Saturday at 9 p.m.
Kingsbury, who is a former Hatchet reporter, said the audience for the annual “Rocky Horror Picture Show” can exceed 300 people each night. The grand ballroom theater caps at 322 people.
About 50 alumni are expected to return for the shows this weekend, Kingsbury said. To welcome the alumni, she said cast members will draw an “A” on their heads for alumni during a “virgin game” in which audience members are asked a question about the show and marked either with a “V” for “Rocky virgin” or “S” for “Rocky slut,” indicating they have seen the show before.
Ahead of the show, Kingsbury said Forbidden Planet Productions will sell prop bags for $3 containing a newspaper, a glow stick, nitrile gloves, a noisemaker, a party hat and toilet paper for the audience to use during the show.
Audience members are told to use the props using a “call line” – points during the show when cast members cue the audience to shout a phrase or use a prop. Kingsbury said one call line – when a cast member says, “Don’t scare yourself, Frank” and snaps his glove – cues the audience to snap their fingers while wearing nitrile gloves.
“This is something that happens with ‘Rockys’ all across the country,” Kingsbury said. “It’s something that’s been, not lacking from our show but, something we feel like we can add at this point because we are 25 years in,” Kingsbury said.
Kinsbury and co-director Miranda Almanzar said they work with choreographers Diarra Samb and Emily Tain and stage manager Laurel Braaten in directing a cast of more than 30 students.
Forbidden Planet Productions does not have a show dedicated to freshmen like other theater companies on campus do, but Kingsbury and Almanzar said “Rocky” is a way for freshmen to get involved. This year, four of the nine main roles are played by freshmen.
Cash-only ticket sales open each night two hours before the show. Students can come get their $5 placeholder ticket that guarantees them a seat when the doors open 40 minutes before the show. Kingsbury said about 300 tickets per show will likely be sold because of its high interest every year.
Lexie Wolff, the former executive producer of GW Forbidden Planet Productions who graduated in 2018, said she plans to return to campus to attend this year’s “Rocky” production. Wolff said she is excited to become an audience member during this year’s performance instead of managing the show.
“I knew I had to come back for the 25th anniversary,” Wolff said. “It’s going to be a super fun time to be able to see everyone and just be an audience member rather than be the one running around like a chicken with her head cut off.”