USF College Players kicked off their season with the much-anticipated “Rocky Horror Picture Show” last Friday night. The film, which began as a musical in 1973, celebrates it’s 40th anniversary on the big screen this year.
The film, which only had moderate success when it first premiered in 1975, has since developed a cult following and has debatably set the trend for midnight screenings. College Players honors the film, and its fans, each year by putting on a shadow cast performance, which allows heightened audience participation.
Audience members were encouraged to dress as their favorite characters, with most wearing revealing lingerie and/or fishnet stockings as an homage to the film’s costuming. And as always, the show first began with the traditional on-stage initiation of first-time viewers. Initially titled “The Virgin Games,” the College Players have recently renamed it “The V Games” as a result of backlash from a Catholic institution unaffiliated with USF.
Aside from the name change, College Players Vice President and Business Manager Tatiana Pavelka asserts the actors stay true to the original performance for the most part. “There are some call-outs that some theatres do that we don’t. In other settings people are throwing things at the stage and yelling really vulgar things. [Ours is] a low stress show. It’s fun, it’s sexy, and it’s interesting.”
Junior English major Cody Stabelfeldt, who has reprised his role as Dr. Frank N’ Furter for the third year in a row, sees the production as a gift. “We all need to bask in decadence, to embrace it, the freeness of it. It’s a love of mine, and an honor to have reprised it, and in every sense an unforgettable life experience.”
College Players’ production of Rocky Horror Picture Show, is not just an excuse for undergraduates to experience decadence, however, but it’s also a source of bonding for all those involved. “This show was just something new I thought would put me out of my comfort zone. Who knew it would become the thing where I experience the most comfort I ever do? I come back to the College Players family for the love shared between us onstage and the audience” said Stabelfeldt.
For freshman nursing major Caitlin Mayo, being apart of College Players’ first production of the year was a positive experience. “It was fun getting up and encouraging people to do the “Time Warp,” and making people laugh with the calls throughout the show. I felt very welcomed.”
As the first show of the year, its popularity is used to welcome anyone who’s unfamiliar with the College Players or anyone’s who’s always been too shy to get involved. “People who were unfamiliar with College Players see the show and how much fun it is. It starts the year in a positive way” said Pavelka.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has proven to be not just a classic on the screen, but also on the stage here at USF thanks to the College Players.
Photo courtesy of Racquel Gonzales/Foghorn