Image courtesy of Morgan Carr
Every year, a group of Georgia Southern students put on a production of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and this year is no exception. This show bursts at the seams with character and covers even the most taboo topics with the brazen display that this cult classic is known for.
Georgia Southern’s production of this show has garnered much attention since its inception over a decade ago. Audience members always show up dressed for the occasion and prepared to be part of the action. This year is no exception to the annual tradition, though if you’re a regular attendee, you may notice some changes to the show this season.
For the past 11 years, the show has taken place at the Averitt Center in Statesboro. This year, Averitt chose to go a different direction with the show, so the GS cast moved to the Russell Union Theatre.
“We had been in the same venue for 11 years and now all that has changed,” said Megan Bowen, producer and former director of the show. “The show had really morphed its way around the space. The only way to put on as good of a show–different but still as good–if we focused more on putting the show in the middle of the audience.”
Audience members this year can expect close interaction with the shadow cast–a group of performers that act out the movie in front of the big screen as it is playing–of the show.This means that the audience will get to see the actual Rocky Horror Picture Show screening behind the cast as they act out each scene.
“We have tons of people who have never done theatre before who come out to do our show because they don’t have to be able to sing, they don’t have to prepare a monologue for the audition,” Bowen said. “Really, all we need is for you to be getting up in front of a bunch of strangers and being weird.”
The significance of this show goes far beyond entertainment.
“This show is incredibly important,” said Morgan Carr, director of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. “Up until this past summer, Statesboro did not have any sort of Pride event for the LGBT+ community. This is kind of the closest thing that we had. It’s a celebration of who we are and what makes us different.”
The emphasis on diversity is what makes this show so recognizable. Students of all ages and majors join together as part of the cast.
“We’re celebrating for different races and ethnicities, body types, romantic and sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and it’s really important that people have a space that they can come every year and just be one hundred percent for who they are,” Carr said.
The show’s importance is not limited to the GS campus.
“The reason that we continue to do it here has more to do with what it’s come to represent in town, in Statesboro, at Georgia Southern. People who return every year to work on Rocky Horror, it’s a lot of LGBTQ people who don’t find that this area of the country is that friendly most of the time,” Bowen said. “So this show is kind of like the loudest thing that we can put on to celebrate.”
The opportunity for audience participation is unique to this show. Those in attendance are encouraged to dress up as their favorite character or really any outfit that embodies the themes of the production.
Everyone is invited to come out to the viewing on October 25, 2019. Doors open at 7 p.m., but come early as there are a limited number of seats available.
Morgan Carr is the Creative Manager of The George-Anne Media Group.