The CaneStage Theatre Company celebrated Halloween with their annual production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” continuing the long-held campus and worldwide tradition.
The showings were held on Oct. 28 and Oct. 29 at midnight. They were preceded by a pre-show at 11 p.m, the first time a pre-show was held since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We welcomed back the SpectrUM pre-show and got to play fun games with the audience,” said senior marine biology and ecology major Allison Reisch, who is the vice president of SpectrUM and played Riff Raff in the show.
The pre-show felt very in line with the philosophy of the show: chaotic, campy and filled with NSFW jokes and games. Not something you’d want to bring your grandma to watch.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a unique experience. Viewers dress up in costumes, typically fishnets, and shout obscenities at the screen that you can find in an audience participation script if it is your first time. Audience members also get up to dance at certain parts of the show.
“I don’t know what just happened. My brain is empty,” said sophomore elementary education major Ashley Reed after the performance.
The movie version is filled with plot twists and turns and contains various camp elements that have made it a cult classic over the years.
“It’s impressive that all of it was run by students,” said Mia Rivas, a creative writing junior.
Putting on a pre-show with games, hosting a live performance with costumes by UM students and ending it with a raffle was a lot of work, but it was worth it in the end. The show was engaging — it’s one that I’d want to see again.
“Each person brought something unique to each role,” said Director Hope Geissler, a junior electronic media major.
Each actor brought so much joy and passion to their roles, and their deep investment in the show was clear to everyone.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is an important cultural moment in the LGBTQ+ community, hence why SpectrUM collaborated with CaneStage for the production.
“When I discovered Rocky, the one thing that stood out was the sense of community,” said junior journalism and political science major Veronica Geoghegan.
As the president of SpectrUM and a cast member in “Rocky Horror Picture Show,” Geoghegan knew the show was perfect for SpectrUM to partner with the theatre company.
“The costumes, the references all resonate with LGBTQ culture,” Geoghegan said.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” gives the LGBTQ+ community a chance to feel seen and heard, a reason why it’s so important to continue having these showings at UM. It’s a celebration of the alternative and occasionally bizarre, helping others find acceptance in themselves and within a community at large. This production gave UM students laughter, joy and a place to celebrate themselves.