With opening night scheduled for February 27, excitement is building as the University Players’ performers enter into the last week of rehearsal before the Rocky Horror Show debut. Even as the final touches are being applied to the choreography, music, and acting, the actors and actresses take a few moments before rehearsal to share some insight into how the preparation is going.
The piano beats out the foot-tapping rhythms of the “Time Warp” from Hoey’s stage as the performers warm up. They soon move on to “I Can Make You a Man,” under the careful guidance of music director Dr. James Maroney.
Enthusiasm and fun are working their way into the cast and crew.
The cast consists of a few newcomers, some familiar faces, and one returning WCU alum, Kevin Billings, who plays Frank-n-Furter.
Billings said, “I’m glad to be able to come back to Western to participate in this show.”
A total of fourteen people will traverse Hoey’s stage in the lively rock-n-roll show. Most of their evenings are spent working on stretching, dancing, singing, and acting.
These dedicated actors and actresses offer their views on how rehearsals have been going, a few of their likes and dislikes, and their expectations for the upcoming show.
The general consensus appears to be one of continued high energy and hope for a tremendous sell-out week. Most agree that they are looking forward to a large turnout of people from the surrounding community.
Serenity Richards, a senior, will play the “flirtatious and womanly” Magenta.
“I hope that everyone who comes to see the show enjoys watching it as much as we enjoy performing it,” Richards said.
Another actor, Josh Ellis, who will play the role of Eddie, said, “I expect we will have some fun audiences who will have a great time.”
Crystal Waters, a junior, will portray one of the phantoms, actors who accent the other characters’ actions and provide a background as well. Her expectations are positive for the performance as well.
“I think that if people treat this as a musical and not a showing,” Waters said, “then we can do a great job.”
Emily Wood, who will play the character Janet, is also ecstatic and hopeful for the upcoming performance.
Wood said, ”I hope people will see RHS not as a weird show about sexual freedom, but as a comical excerpt from life in the science fiction seventies.”
But pulling off a full musical with song, dance, and lively acting is not as easy as one thinks when seeing it in full effect on the stage. Hours of diligent practice and repetitive action have been put into each scene and in each character’s performance. All of this is observed and assisted by an attentive crew.
“Rehearsals are individual times to shine,” said Courtney Becknell, who plays Columbia. “You have to give your best because it doesn’t get any better. You’re as good as you give. Nothing could happen without everyone working together.”
Most of the cast agree that rehearsals have been going smoothly, and that the band has provided them with an unexpected burst of energy.
Heather Smidt, who plays Dr. Scott, said enthusiastically, “I think we are moving along at a very good pace, and I hope the audience has as much fun as we have had putting it together.”
“This is a great ensemble of people that have been put together,” Damien Marts, playing Rocky, said. “We’re having a blast.”
This cast is excited and enthusiastic about the hard work and effort that they have been putting into the past few weeks. Each performer was kind enough to share their thoughts about the show’s progress and provide an inside view of their hopes for next week’s performance. With so many positive attitudes, February 27 promises to be an energetic, captivating opening night.