'Rocky Horror' engages SU audience at CUB


Though the role of Dr. Frank N. Furter was played by Tim Curry in the movie, SU junior Caitlin Silva was the “sweet transvestite” during Act V’s production.

Act V Theatre Co.’s production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” returned this year for yet another Halloween.

The show, which was shadow-acted by members of Act V alongside the film and directed by SU senior Nick McKim, is centered around the ’70s cult classic, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” 

The film follows Brad and Janet, an engaged couple who reluctantly spend the night as guests to a party of debauchery with Dr. Frank N. Furter, a “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania.” The movie revolves around sex and the discovery of one’s sexuality, and has several fun songs during which the audience brings out the noise.

Shadow-acting involves miming along to what the characters are doing on-screen while lip-syncing their dialogue. Act V had a fully-cast show to mime along to the movie.

The annual show, this year held in the Ceddia Union Building (CUB)’s Multipurpose Room (MPR), reeled in around 200 people on Monday and at least 400 on Wednesday, which was also Halloween. 

Previously, “Rocky Horror” has been held in SU’s Memorial Auditorium (MA). McKim picked the CUB MPR for several reasons. The MPR is a more central location to gather more students, and also did not have the restrictions that Memorial Auditorium did with food. McKim felt that members of Act V were able to expand on what they did with the space. 

Part of the tradition of the cult classic is for the audience to interact heavily with the movie, whether it is shouting expletives at the actors on-screen as they say certain keywords or filling in pauses in dialogue with absurd commentary. 

New this year was the ability for the SU audience to scan a QR code that would take them to a website with the full movie’s script. In sync with the movie were annotations showing all the additional commentary that the audience could yell during the show.

“We had so many more people interacting, shouting things. I think providing that script allowed ‘Rocky Horror’ virgins to get into the script,” McKim said.

Some viewers sparingly participated in the shouting, while others relentlessly committed from beginning to end, sometimes to the ire of other members of the audience. 

“For the most part, ‘Rocky Horror’ is a show that you yell. It’s the culture, it’s gonna happen,” McKim said.

“I also put in more small jokes,” McKim said, referring to how members of the cast brought out a large picture of “The Last Supper” by Leonardo da Vinci during the dinner scene.

Tim Curry played Dr. Frank N. Furter in the movie, though the character can be shadow cast as any gender. This year, the character was played by Caitlin Silva. 

McKim played Furter last year and was the only male Frank N. Furter of the three years Act V has been doing it. He was happy with casting another female  

“Caitlin came in, killed the audition. She came in and killed her call-back audition. This is it — she has to be it,” McKim said. 

SU Junior Rhys Seggel, who played the Rocky Horror, talked about his experiences with the show.

“There’s something weird about going out in fishnets and your underwear in front of your friends and girlfriend. She was very fascinated by the scene in which I motorboated and felt another girl’s breasts up. It puts you in a really unique situation,” Seggel said.

“It’s a unique and great experience. It really gets you out of your comfort zone. I barely had a comfort zone to begin with, so this just sorta burst it,” Seggel said. “I literally walked from the CUB to my room in my corset and the fishnets.”

Members of Act V will next take the stage Nov. 15, 16, 17 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. for their production of “Clue” in MA.

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