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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    The absolute pleasure of performing ‘Rocky Horror’ at The Loft

    Rebecca Noble
    A cast member performs a strip tease to the opening credits of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at The Loft Cinema in the early hours of the morning of Sunday, Sept. 18, 2016.

    The longest-running theatre in the country to perform “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is right here in Tucson—The Loft Cinema.

    The art-house theatre has been entertaining the Tucson community for generations with this campy cult classic.

    For 38 years, The Loft has presented “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” every third Saturday of the month. The theater brings together people from all walks of life to celebrate the out-of-this-world experience Rocky Horror is.

    While playing the 1975 satirical film on The Loft’s screen, a shadow cast made up of a team of volunteers simultaneously acts out the happenings of Rocky Horror with a rotating door of characters.

    The cast participates in numerous substitutions in the cast list. This includes gender-role swapping and picking characters out of a hat right before the show starts.

    “If you don’t fit in, we will make you fit in” said Stephanie Martinson, a volunteer actor for the Heavy Petting shadow cast.

    RELATED: ‘Zumbies,’ ‘The Old Pueblo,’ among others that survived the gong at The Loft’s October First Friday Shorts

    The emphasis that many of the actors take away and hold dear are the elements of acceptance for yourself and for others. Steven Rivers, one of the show’s co-leaders and cast members, has performed with “Rocky Horror” casts all over the world.

    Rivers started working with productions all around the country in 1995 after he served in the the U.S. Air Force for 20 years. Rivers is now retired and permanently resides in the Tucson area.

    “Everyone is welcome,” Rivers said. “[Rocky Horror] is the one place where I can go and feel completely accepted.”

    Sean May, the co-director of the Heavy Petting shadow cast, has performed Rocky Horror at The Loft for six years.

    May, who works two full-time jobs and goes to school outside of performing, urged Rocky Horror new-timers to not “be afraid” to experience the show to its fullest extent.

    Heather Hicks and Veronica Ridgely have performed at The Loft for two years and played numerous characters in the show. Ridgely said she performed several shows while pregnant and continued to do so up until two weeks before her due date.

    There are several elements which make each of The Loft’s Rocky Horror experiences unique to other live theatre performances—one being the collaboration between screen actors and live actors.

    “[Rocky Horror] is out of this world,” Jon “Brukachu” Brubaker said. “No two shows are alike.”

    Brubaker is an experienced volunteer cast member and has played several roles including female “groupie” character Colombia.

    Audience participation is another major component that holds “Rocky Horror” so near its cast members’ hearts.

    Jeremy Riddle and Bridget Summerville are the two newest members to join the cast.

    “Don’t be afraid to throw yourself into it,” Summerville said. “The atmosphere is where you can belong.”

    RELATED: Documentary ‘Star Men’ holds US premiere at The Loft Cinema, featuring a talk by UA astronomy professor

    The show is a collaborating force between the actors and audience, with the contribution from the audience being a performance in itself. The natural reactions from the viewers make each show unique and special.

    The Loft upholds more than just its own reputation with “Rocky Horror.” In March of 2014, the theater hosted the Southwest national “Rocky Horror” convention. The three-day event featured several showings with casts from around the country and the world.

    In addition to the performance on Oct. 22, The Loft will host its annual “Rocky Horror” Halloween show. The night will include costume contests with cash prizes and the renowned pre-show ritual welcoming new-timers to sacrifice their “virginity.”

    To purchase tickets for the show, visit The Loft’s website.

    Follow Chloe Raissen on Twitter

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