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Rocky Horror captivates audiences with unconventional plot, striking costumes and passion

From Nov. 3 to Nov. 5, Redwood EPIC Drama put on the Rocky Horror Picture Show. From crazy costumes to audience engagement, the show thrilled crowds of students and parents who came to see the production.

Fourth-year drama student and senior Berit Pigott played the Court Jester. Pigott reflected on the recent show following its end, attributing the excitement surrounding the show to its unconventional storyline. 

Delighting the audience with their bold costumes and emotion, seniors Berit Pigott (bottom) and Phoebe Putney (bottom right) perform alongside their cast members. (Photo courtesy of Redwood EPIC Drama)

“The fun part about [the Rocky Horror Picture Show] is that it has a plot, but it’s [also] very eccentric. It’s all about these wild things happening so you lose the plot at some point,” Pigott said.

The costumes, which ranged from sparkly sequin studded dresses to fishnets paired with boots, played a large part in setting the mood for the show. Ultimately, this helped the actors fully immerse themselves in their characters, according to Pigott. 

“Our costumes were pretty wild. A big part of getting into character was doing all of our crazy hair and costumes,” Pigott said. “In the drama program, we don’t believe in method acting, so it would be pretentious for me to say I had a method. Honestly, the role was such an outlet where I got to be loud and crazy and run around. I knew I could put all my energy into that. That was kind of my preparation, having a moment where [I thought] this is the time where I put all my focus and all my excitement into this role.”

Fellow senior and fourth-year drama student Phoebe Putney played the show’s narrator. Putney stated that the unusual plot of the show and role gave her creative freedom to build her character. 

“[As the narrator], my role controlled the show and I was very interactive with the audience. I kind of came in and out of the reality of the characters, so sometimes they saw me, sometimes they didn’t,” Putney said. “It was [difficult] because I had to make the character up and make it my own.”

Going into the show, Putney had her doubts but ended up being pleasantly surprised with how it turned out. 

“I feel like it went really well – it was really fun and such a bonding experience. I felt really proud of everyone [upon seeing it] from start to finish,” Putney said.

Junior Syd Walling brings the stage to life with intense emotion and fervor as she delivers a monologue. (Photo courtesy of Redwood EPIC Drama)

Putney credits some of the show’s success to the style of directing as well. 

“Our director made us memorize our lines verbatim. It really made me know the show inside and out. It felt like I knew the show and I just had to perform it once to get that confidence,” Putney said.

Additionally, Pigott said crowds for the Rocky Horror Picture Show were significantly bigger than with past shows, which also added to audience engagement. 

“We have struggled post-COVID to get larger audiences, particularly students to come and see the show, but there was a lot of audience participation. A lot of people came [which was] really exciting because it is a show that needs a lot of energy from the audience,” Pigott said.

In the coming weeks, the drama students will be incredibly busy as they work on new performances. 

“We are preparing for our one-act festival where the upperclassman directors will be showcasing the scenes they are directing with beginning drama students, which are mainly freshmen,” Pigott said. “We are [also working on performances] for spring, the seniors will have a play [we] will create [ourselves] that is like a send-off and [additional performances] that we will bring to festivals and competitions.”

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