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Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Informing the  Berea and Baldwin Wallace University Communities Since 1913

The Exponent

Student production ‘Rocky Horror’ to return to campus, encourages self-expression

Ursula Saadeh
Abby Nagle, Da’Von McDonald, Junie Carter, and Bella Issa rehearse “Hot Patootie” from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

Edited Oct. 6

Baldwin Wallace University’s student production of the cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is back, with the shadow cast opening on Oct. 20 in the Student Activities Center.

The eerie midnight show will involve the shadow cast performing as the film plays behind them, aided by audience participation. Viewers may dress up, purchase props and prepare to engage with the cast in a truly unique viewing experience. This is part of a longstanding cultural phenomenon that emerged shortly after “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” premiered in theaters in 1975.

Due to its success last year, the production has returned, headed by production manager Delilah Hartlage, a junior dance and movement major who doubles as the creative director of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” collective at BW.

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“[It’s] completely unique in that it’s all about being who and what you want to be,” Hartlage said. “It’s a really one-of-a-kind opportunity to express yourself, to get wild and a little crazy and to celebrate the LGBTQ+ cult classic that is Rocky Horror.”

Hartlage also gave advice for newcomers, called “virgins” per Rocky Horror tradition.

“Each night before our shows, we do what is called a ‘virgin sacrifice.’ It’s a chance to partake in a classic tradition, play some fun games and win some prizes,” Hartlage said.

While it is not necessary, audience members will often dress like their favorite characters in the show said the production manager, Allison Woodhouse.

“The most important thing is to feel comfortable and have fun,” Woodhouse said. “Wear whatever you feel best in. Anyone is welcome.”

Woodhouse said that people should always be who they are at the show.

“There’s something for everyone at Rocky Horror, it’s a place of self-expression and freedom,” Woodhouse said.

Choreographer Elise Dobbins, a junior arts management and entertainment student, said that along with the traditions, the plot drives home the shows uniqueness.

“Not many people understand the plot at all, but that’s what creates such a cult following for it,” Dobbins said.

The play involves a couple that find themselves in an old castle owned by Dr. Frank-NFurter that is “filled with aliens and weirdos,” Dobbins said. The strange residents perform choreographed dances as Frank-N-Furter experiments in his lab to create the perfect man, Rocky. In the midst of all this, a murder occurs.

Dobbins said she is most excited to perform a selfchoreographed number called the “Lips Feature” during the opening song “Science Fiction/Double Feature.”

“After choreographing it last year, I was honestly sad that I couldn’t perform in the number, but this year’s choreo is even better than last year, and I get to be a part of it!” Dobbins said.

The “Science Fiction” cast will feature Drew Branstetter and Kristen Miller as confused couple Brad Majors and Janet Weiss on opening night and Nov. 11. The fabulou Dr. Frank-N Furter will be played by Lin Kohne, and his creation, Rocky, will be played by Da’von McDonald.

This cast also includes David Keller, Delilah Hartlage and Allison Woodhouse as Riff Raff, Magenta and Columbia respectively. Finally, the characters Eddie, Dr. Scott, and the Criminologist are brought to life by Maya Avalos, Kaitlin Smith and Geneva Millikan.

The “Double Feature” cast performing on Nov. 4 and Nov. 10 is similar but includes Madison Helenthal as Janet, Kohne as Riff Raff, David Keller as Frank-N -Furter and Destini Haith as Magenta. Other differences include Junie Carter as Columbia, Bella Issa as Eddie and Maya Avalos as Dr. Scott.

The show also features many more actors in the form of the Lips Trio and the Transylvanians, who are also excited to bring the show back to BW this year.

“This year, we have a larger cast and crew, with a lot of freshmen as well,” Woodhouse said. “There’s more room for collaboration than ever, and as a senior, I hope we can pass this tradition on so it can become an established production!”

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