Marie Sykes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Are you ready to enter a Transylvanian castle after getting caught with a flat? Well how ‘bout that! Breakaway Student Productions is putting on a shadowcast performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, meaning the cast will act and mime in front of the original movie playing in the background.
What is Rocky Horror about? “Absolute chaos,” says Director Emily Crocker ‘24. In love with the show since childhood, she’s brought her love to life this semester, premiering in Bomberger March 3rd. With everything from the stained glass windows and the carved wooden faces, she says the chapel has “Frankenstein’s castle sort of vibes” and is “a perfect space for audience interaction.”
As an early queer film, coming out in 1975, Rocky Horror has “outdated terms” in it which people aren’t always comfortable with, so Crocker made sure to reach out to the queer community on campus and ask “how are we feeling about it?” The response was overwhelmingly positive and she was ecstatic to move forward. Jess Celli ‘22 (Columbia) said that Rocky Horror is really important because “it’s bringing representation to campus. It’s a place to be ourselves. It’s queer representation like you’ve never seen it before.”
When the cast was asked what their favorite parts of the show were, they could barely pick one. Ali Wolf ‘23 (Janet and Breakaway Vice President) says her favorite part is the song, “Timewarp,” and Emily Bradigan ‘23 (Magenta and Breakaway Secretary) agreed, saying that it “represents the chaos” of the show. Liam Worcheck’s ‘22 (Riff Raff) favorite song is “Double Feature Science Fiction.” Celli’s was the song “Sweet Transvestite” as “it’s such an iconic number and it gives us such a good opportunity to really be our characters.” Olivia Cross ‘24 (Costume Designer) said her favorite part was the “moment where you step back and see the [vision come] into reality.”
When the cast told us why they joined the show, Elliot Cetinski ‘24 (Dr. Frank-N-Furter and Breakaway Treasurer) answered “cause I’m gay,” a fundamental theme in the show. Leigh Willis ‘22 (Eddy/Ensemble) said, “it’s a different style of show than we’ve ever done here… It’s fun to express myself through theater in a different way than what we normally do.” Assistant Director Evan Chartock ’25 says his favorite part is “watching it come to life like the start of rehearsals and see the hesitancy of everyone and over the course of a few hours seeing my peers incorporate everything.” Austin Brzezicki ‘23 (Brad) told us “it’s always had a sweet spot for me” after growing up with it, another common theme among the cast members. Wolf said “it’s been such a stressful year” and being in this show, “dancing around with your friends doing the craziness that’s Rocky Horror” is the perfect end of her day.
For a few seniors, Rocky is the end of their college acting career. For Crocker, this is her first show she has ever directed, but she says “it’s been so fun to see the things other people envision with this show and weave it all together” and that from the beginning, she has been in love with this production, even “jumping” up and down in her seat “the entire time” during auditions last semester. Willis says “I’m happy to be in a show with all my friends… that’s a big thing, being able to experience that last show surrounded by the people I’m close with” while Worcheck, quite simply, is “just here for the ride.” Celli tells us “it’s a good legacy to leave. I’m happy that it got started while I’m here,” and they hope it becomes an annual tradition. Gabriella Marrero ‘22 (ensemble) said that even though this is her first show, she’s “obsessed” with the show. Another ensemble member, Brooke Yanaga ‘22, said she is “really excited to be a part of it” after being the treasurer of Breakaway two years ago but never getting to be in a show herself.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show premieres for the one night show March 3rd and tickets are already all but sold out. If you want to hear more about Breakaway and their productions, follow @uc_bsp on Instagram. Good luck to the cast and crew, and, for everyone else snatch up some remaining tickets if you can!