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Shelby Justine and Lea McLean from Joplin, Missouri, sing “There's a Light.” The two played the role of Janet and Eddie on Rocky Horror Picture show held at Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation on Friday, Sept. 14. Neha Montojo

Rocky Horror delivers laughter and crowd involvement

The Joplin RKO Floorshow, residing at the Bookhouse Cinema, traveled to Pittsburg Friday, Sept. 14, to accompany a showing of the film “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The cast performed live along with the film and involved the crowd in the performance.  

$5 prop-bags were available for purchase for further involvement with the cast and movie. The performance and live show were part of Pittsburg’s Friday Flix, which takes place at the Colonial Fox Theatre, projected outside. Audience members brought lawn chairs and blankets and settled in for an eventful evening.  

“I thought it was really fun and just a unique way to experience a show and just to come out and dress up with my friends and see a show for the first time was really cool,” said Brittan Brenner, senior in communication. “…So often it’s very two-dimensional, but to have it in three-dimensions and just having the cast a part of the audience and the audience a part of the show, I mean those aren’t things you get to do every day, so it’s just really cool and I think a unique experience to bring to Pittsburg, Kansas, of all places.” 

Before the show began, cast members led a ceremony that included audience members who had not seen “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” before, marking them as “virgins.” Of this crowd, the cast chose three members to spin the “Wheel of Virgin Misfortune,” each then participated in unique activities like a sing-a-long, “Fishing for Fishnets,” and “Can Rocky Read?” The crowd chose a winner of the three and they each received various prizes for participating. 

“Oh yeah, (I would come again)!” said Kailey Pearson, sophomore in graphic design. “It was a lot of fun! It’s really fun to dress up and come out and just hang out with the community and do something that not a lot of communities I think do and normally would be put down, but it’s really fun to celebrate and have a good time.” 

The cast then lead the audience in the “Rocky Horror Pledge,” and began the film. Audience members sat ready in the crowd, many dressed as “Rocky Horror” characters, awaiting the live action. 

“So fun, I’d never been before, so I really had a great time,” Pearson said. “I really liked that it was so, like, out there. Oh, I think (the floorshow) did really great. I thought it made it a lot more like interactive and they were really themselves. I thought they did awesome. … I thought it was a really good movie. I was like, ‘wow, I need to get the movie now.” 

Shelby Bryant, who played Janet in the RKO Floorshow, said her favorite part of the experience is the people she meets and the floorshow itself. 

“Well, I’m actually pretty new, I’ve only done a couple shows, but I’ve played a lot of different characters but this is definitely my favorite character to play,” Bryant said. “I love my theatre family, I made a lot of really great friends, I think that’s the best thing I’ve gotten out of it is the people I’ve met.” 

Bryant has participated in the RKO Floorshow for about six months and the Pittsburg show was her third performance. She decided to become part of the show with a high school friend, 

“Well, one of my really close friends in high school—we were in theatre together—did it … she’s actually not with us anymore, but she brought me onto it,” Bryant said. “… I’ve always been interested in theatre. I’m trying to volunteer anytime possible, especially with theatre is good on the resume, plus I always have fun every time I’m doing it, no matter how poorly it goes I’m always having a good time.” 

Stevie Rose, who played Frank N. Furter, has participated with the Floorshow since 2012 and has played all roles except one. 

“I love it, I absolutely love it; it’s so fun,” Rose said. “(My favorite part is) the cast, like you meet a lot of really cool people through it because you send out this casting call and you get all these different kinds of people and then we all just kind of become a little family.” 

Rose encouraged anyone interested in becoming part of the cast to take the leap. 

“I would tell them to just go for it,” she said. “It’s a safe space, no judgment, be as weird as you want. … I mean, I’ve always loved Rocky and my bachelorette night they were showing it at Route 66 Theatre in Webb City and there was a lady there that was wanting to start a shadow cast so I was like, “Hi, me, I will.” 

Bryant said their group constantly welcomes new members and anyone interested. 

“Well, we are always needing new people,” Bryant said. “Like, even backstage, if you don’t want to be onstage you can always be backstage, help with props, help with costumes. We have rehearsals once a month, you can always hit us up on Facebook at the RKO Floorshow, like our page, send us a message and we can get you hooked up. … If you’re not a social butterfly there’s still a place for you, anyone that wants to join, we always need people, always.” 

For members of the Pittsburg community, the showing was a way to get them involved with the arts as well as support the town. 

“I really love it,” Pearson said. “It gives me something to do on a weekday as a college student, or even as a member of the community and it makes me want to live in a community like this more long-term. I live in Block22 so its like right here, too, so it’s really nice.” 

Donations were appreciated and all proceeds went toward the Colonial Fox Theatre Foundation to support remodeling efforts of the theatre. 

“I think that that’s everything,” Brenner said. “I think that incorporating young people and just all generations into a community that’s like this and having it in a parking lot where it’s so readily available and right next door to where 100 students live. And I just think that this is what the community is about, just visibility and community interaction, so I think that the more of this we see will just continue to increase quality of life and people sticking around, so it’s really cool.” 

 

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