October is a great time to be a Maryville College student, with homecoming and all the excitement that brings, and Halloween bringing an air of mystery and perhaps spookiness to our campus. In order to aid to that atmosphere Alpha Psi Omega, the national honor society for theater, is hosting two events that highlight this time of year quite well.
On Oct. 15 at 10 p.m. in the Lambert Recital Hall, there will be a screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” complete with a “shadowcast” put on by MC students. For the uninitiated, a shadowcast is when a group of performers act out the plot of the movie as it plays behind them. The actors are in full costume, and audience members are given a bag of props to use during the show at select moments. Audience participation, though not mandatory, is highly encouraged.
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” is a beloved cult-classic musical that’s renowned for its campiness and eccentric plot. Maryville College theater member Riley Hamant, also a big fan of the “Rocky Horror” shadowcast, had this to say about the atmosphere of the event, “It’s a completely safe zone. You are who you are and you can just be yourself and have fun.”
Diamond Cronan, another MC theater member added, “My favorite part of Rocky Horror is the sheer comfort. I view this as an event for all people to truly be whatever they are comfortable being for one night with no inhibitions. I love the atmosphere that the show and the audience can’t help but get sucked into.”
Indeed, audience members have a great time dancing along to the musical numbers and utilizing their bag of props to immerse themselves in the movie.
Cameron Freshour, a first-time member of this year’s shadowcast playing the part of Brad Majors, commented on rehearsals and his past experiences with the event, “This is my first time in a shadow cast so it’s very different. But, a good kind of different. Rehearsals are laid back and fun. We don’t have lines to memorize except for some iconic one liners that are in the show.”
On Oct. 31 at midnight, Alpha Psi Omega is hosting its annual Ghost Tour, an event which takes place in the college woods and brings with it the delighted screams of audience members, who are guided through the woods and told stories of all the ghosts that inhabit our college— all while actors dressed as these ghosts try their best to scare the audience.
Hamant, who worked as a “scare actress” for three years before coming to MC, loves the Ghost Tour because it’s one of the “Few times people like being scared.” Freshour echoed her sentiment, saying that it’s “Definitely worth coming to if you want to be scared.”
Indeed, from Dr. Who-esque concrete angels to legless civil war veterans demanding audience members hand over their legs as replacement, it’s quite a spooky experience.
Cronan, who works as a tour guide, said this of her experience, “Most of the time you get an audience that isn’t buying into the stories until they see the scare actors in character. I love being a tour guide because I like watching the students buy into all of the legends of the college…I think my interest in the history of the college and the legends that have been passed down is what really drives the scares home for me.”
Proceeds from the Ghost Tour this year will benefit the nascent Austin-East Magnet High School’s theater program.
If you want to get into the Halloween spirit and participate in some truly fun events that highlight the theatrical skill of your peers, come to these shows and experience both frights and delights the likes of which you’ve never seen before.