High Country time warps into ‘Rocky Horror’


Courtesy of Allie Mariotte

Briley Turpin, A&C Editor

For 47 years now, the “Rocky Horror Picture Show” has brought a cult following to theaters around the globe. This year, “Rocky Horror” made its way to Boone and was held at Appalachian Theatre of the High Country for the first time ever, according to Suzanne Livesay, the executive director of the theater. 

The App State Theatre Honor Society, Alpha Psi Omega, held two showings of the cult classic on Halloween night at the Appalachian Theatre in which they performed the show live with the film playing behind them as a backdrop. Both showings, one at 7 p.m. and the other at 10 p.m., sold out completely. 

The club made roughly $8,000 in ticket sales, according to Nick Isley, the understudy chair of APO. Isley said all revenue from ticket sales goes back into the club for future events.

According to Allie Mariotte, the director of the show, they were expecting to sell 300 tickets at most. They sold 1,200. 

“It was way more than I expected this show to ever become. We imagined the show in a Ballroom and then Legends, a small 80 seat theater,” Mariotte said. 

Audience members were encouraged to wear costumes and shout out the classic callbacks present at any showing of  “Rocky Horror.” Audience props were also available with a small donation. Destiny Wolfe, APO member and the lead female role in “Rocky Horror,” said all donations made were given to multiple charities, including Broadway Cares, an organization supporting actors in New York who can’t afford things like health insurance. 

The audience was buzzing with energy before the show, filling the lobby of Appalachian Theatre with people dressed in costumes ranging from Tinker Bell to Dr. Frank-N-Furter himself. At the door, the ticket collectors had sticks of red lipstick in order to mark a letter “V” on the foreheads of those who had never been to a showing of “Rocky Horror” before, representing the word “virgin.” To keep the crowd engaged, some of the supporting actors appeared on stage to call upon audience members to participate in three sex-themed games. 

Throughout the performance, the audience sang along to the songs and shouted out callbacks, following the lead of those who had seen the show before. When prompted by the scenes in the film, audience members broke out the props they bought at the door and became part of the show themselves. 

Kort Woodward, a junior at App State, attended the show. 

“It was phenomenal, and the ideal way to spend Halloween,” said Kort Woodward, an App State junior who attended the show. It was his first time attending a screening of the show, and he emphasized that he hopes they will do it again next year. 

While APO’s showing of the cult classic was ultimately a success, things got off to a rocky start with their venue, Wolfe said. After scrambling to find a location, they landed on the Appalachian Theatre. While they were thrilled to finally have a secure venue, there were still obstacles in the way, Wolfe said. 

Isley said in order to perform at Appalachian Theatre, they had to set up a GoFundMe to raise money for a deposit on the theater. They also had to completely sell out the floor seats before they were allowed to open balcony seating. 

“We are super, super grateful to the App Theatre and their willingness to support the clubs on campus,” Isley said. 

A huge reason the club was so adamant about having the opportunity to perform “Rocky Horror” was due to the fact the show offers people belonging to the LGBTQ+ community a safe space to represent themselves, Isley said. 

“Rocky Horror” has held a lot of meaning to many members of the LGBTQ+ community within the theater department at App State, Isley said. 

“It is unapologetic in its essence. For it to be a queer film made in the 1970s and it to still be around, that makes a statement,” Isley said. 

For Isley and Wolfe, the show is about more than just acting on stage. They said it provides the campus community a space where anyone can be accepted and where nobody feels like they need to hide who they truly are. 

“It’s opening up a lot of opportunities for our club to be what we want it to really be. It’s and inclusive environment for queer people, for trans people, for people of color and for people of any religion,” Isley said.