The Rocky Horror Picture Show ‘Virgin’ Survival Guide

By Kiersten Kimminau

Since coming out in 1975, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has amassed a cult following of devoted fans. The story follows sweethearts Brad and Janet, who discover the eerie mansion of eccentric scientist, Dr. Frank-N-Furter (aka the sweet transvestite from transsexual Transylvania). Through a series of elaborate dances and musical numbers, the pair meet a gaggle of wild characters and bid farewell to their innocence in this turbulent escapade.

The fantastic absurdity is not limited to the screen though, anyone who has attended a shadow cast performance of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is familiar with the wild costumes, boisterous call-outs, goofy interactions with actors and more throughout the entire evening. In the Rocky Horror world, if you have never experienced a live show before, you’re known as a “virgin.” If this is you, I’m here to tell you how to best prepare yourself for the wild ride that is Rocky Horror. So, let’s get started.

“Don’t Dream it, Be it.” -Dr. Frank-N-Furter

The first thing you should know is that “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” celebrates freedom of expression to the absolute max. Actors and audience members alike are encouraged to shamelessly express themselves in an exciting, fast-paced and accepting atmosphere. Some great advice is to embrace the absurdity, and one such way to do this is through your fashion choices!

Just about every costume in the Rocky Horror world is legendary. Your possibilities for garments are literally endless for this show known for its reputation as an otherworldly, dazzling and colorful spectacle. Sequins, sparkles, garter belts and fishnets are the name of the game so if you go this route, you’ll definitely fit right in with the glam rock vibe of the production.

The most important thing is that you wear whatever makes you feel confident! If you’d like to maintain a more casual style, emulate the looks of pre-debauched Brad and Janet. Or, opt for a gothic mystique look reminiscent of Magenta and Riff Raff. Just remember, the main goal of the show is to expose people to the vibrant world of Rocky Horror. No matter what you wear, you’ll have an awesome time!

In addition to donning your most daring attire, you can also unleash your voice at this show! “Shout at the movie! Shout at the actors!” encourages the director of this years’ show, Alisa Muench. One of the most fun elements of the show is that it encourages interactions between the audience and cast members, so make the effort to embrace this and you’re sure to have an unforgettable experience.

“From shouting things like ‘Where is your neck?’ to ‘A**hole’ and ‘Sl#t’ at the main characters, people are allowed to let themselves loose and connect in the strangest alien like way possible.”

-Alisa Muench, Director

Lyrics and subtitles will be up on the screens through the entirety of this high-spirited musical, so don’t worry if you aren’t familiar with the timing, lines and lyrics. Besides, you don’t have to know every single lyric in order to dance! Which leads me into the next tip: wear your dancing shoes! You will absolutely not stay seated during this event, rather you will be roused out of your chair to move your feet, bend your knees, and shake those hips! Honestly, you can’t go to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” and NOT do the time warp. I’m pretty sure it’s not even legal.

There you have it, folks! If you take heed of all the aforementioned tips and brace yourself for a strange journey, you will surely have a phenomenal experience. Don’t miss “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” event on October 25th at 10 p.m. in the SURC Ballroom. This show only happens once a year, so dress your best, get to the line early and be prepared for a wild time!


Kiersten Kimminau is a Student Writer at the CWU Publicity Center. She is a Communication Studies major and student-athlete on the Cross Country & Track teams.