Embracing the Halloween season while supporting community arts may seem like a daunting task — but for some UNC students, they can check both boxes through their participation in UNC Pauper Players' fourth annual production of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”
The show will take place at the Varsity Theatre on Franklin Street, with performances on Friday and Saturday at 9:30 p.m. and at midnight.
Tickets for the show are $5 and will be sold in The Pit October 22rd-26th from 11:00 a.m. to 2 p.m..
Producer and UNC senior William Leitch said he is excited for people to come and watch the show because of how different the production is from other pieces of art. For people who have never seen “Rocky Horror,” Leitch said the plot is unexpected and something they’ve never seen before.
“It’s a show that I think people go into and are amazed at how tragically beautiful it is,” Leitch said. “It’s a show that is a piece of art, but not because of its quality, but because of what it does, and what it did at the time. If I had to describe the plot, I would say a show about not being able to satisfy your deepest wants as a person and your deepest wants that you want out of other people.”
Leitch has been a part of the show since his first year at UNC and said that it becomes more of a campus phenomenon every year. This year, every show sold out in a less than 24 hours.
“It is wild, ruckus, sexy, entertaining, hilarious and doesn’t make any sense, but that’s why it’s so amazing,” said Kathryn Brown, the director of the show. “That’s why it’s so much fun. The show is so wrong that it’s right.”
She also said that “Rocky Horror” requires a lot of improvisation, as a lot of it is unscripted. It requires the actors to be vulnerable, but also confident in themselves.
Ensemble member Sarah Gothard said the show is an inclusive and fun way to start Halloween weekend. She initially saw the show during her first year and is excited to partake in the production for her senior year.
“Especially this year, they’ve really made it a point to include the stories to be more LGBTQ-centered because that’s the focus of the movie as a whole,” Gothard said. “In the past, it hasn’t been like that, but this year they made it a real point to make sure everyone was included and to make sure that the cast was representative of the actual story.”
Junior Hannah Hendren, who is playing Frank-N-Furter, said the show is a fun way to come together and feel empowered.
“I think especially with just how grim reality can be, it’s such a great escape to go to,” Hendren said.
Most students involved in the play said that empowerment was a major theme in this year’s production. Hendren said the show centers around bringing the community together and making the audience feel as empowered as the actors do onstage.
Leitch said the production has also helped him grow in the way he thinks about himself and others.
“I think what I’ve learned is that there is beauty in everyone — in every shape, size, color,” Leitch said. “There’s beauty in the way everyone looks and the way everyone expresses themselves. That’s what this show really highlights, explores and celebrates.“
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