By DALEY JENNINGS
One Halloween tradition that UMW students can look forward to yearly is The Rich Weirdos’ shadow casting of the “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” a production of the 1975 cult classic starring Tim Curry as an alien transvestite who tries to have as much fun on Earth as he can before having to return to his home planet. The performance has undergone several changes since its inception at UMW.
While the show has been a tradition since spring of 2013, the club has only existed since the spring of 2016, which is when the Rich Weirdos started to gain more control over the production.
“It was when we became a club that we replaced some of the old calls that were used the first time I did the show, ” said the club’s president and senior theatre major Meagan Morrison.
Morrison explained that a call is an original line shouted by a shadowcast actor in response to the movie.
“The officers decided that all antisemitic, racist and homophobic calls would be cut from the show and replaced,” said the club’s president and senior theatre major Meagan Morrison.
This is Morrison’s fourth year participating in the show. Her roles have been Magenta, Columbia, and she is reprising her role as Frank N Furter this year.
“My favorite part of the show is when I throw off my cape, because the audience goes wild. It makes me feel like I’m amazing, because there’s a whole crowd cheering for me,” said Morrison.
Her excitement for the upcoming shows on campus was increased by the show earlier this month in Fredericksburg Market Square.
“It was amazing! We had a really great turnout since the show was sold out, and the audience loved it,” said Morrison.
Morrison’s excitement is shared by Britt Ingles, a senior English major who is taking on the role of Columbia. This isn’t her first time in the shadow cast, as she played part of the ensemble of Transylvanians, Janet Wiess,as well as Columbia in the past three years.
“For sure I look forward to it every year, it’s been one of my favorite parts of my time at UMW,” she said.
Ingles said that group has begun to feel like a family.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show has culturally become something of a safe space and community for people who feel like they otherwise couldn’t find one and I think our group tries to emulate that the best we can.”
Newcomer Michael-Elliot Hansen, a sophomore who joined the group for a project in his ethnography class, was a little overwhelmed by the workload of preparing for a performance, but enjoyed his time nonetheless.
“My experience has been overwhelmingly positive if not incredibly stressful. I already have a lot on my plate, but Rocky ended up being surprisingly demanding.”
“It was definitely more intense than I was expecting,” he said of the two month rehearsal period. The rehearsals for the show coincide with midterms, so keeping a balance between the two was very important. In spite of the added stress, he found great joy in performing with the shadow cast for the cult classic.
“Rocky Horror Picture Show is a cult classic celebration of all things weird, explicit and unconventional, complete with a storyline and soundtrack to err just on the right side of trashy fun,” said Hansen.
He believes that seeing the movie with a shadow cast is vital to that experience.
“The shadow cast ramps that trashiness up to an 11,” said Hansen.
The next shows will take place in the Digital Auditorium on Friday Oct. 26 at midnight and Saturday Oct. 27 at 7 p.m. and midnight. Tickets are $2 at the door, cash only.