The Homer Theatre as seen here on Sept. 19, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Homer News file photo)

The Homer Theatre as seen here on Sept. 19, 2018 in Homer, Alaska. (Homer News file photo)

Rocky Horror Picture Show comes to Homer as fundraiser for R.E.C. Room

Make sure your Time Warping shoes are tied nice and tight and ready your toast-throwing arm — Rocky Horror Picture Show is coming to Homer.

The 1975 horror musical turned cult classic will show at the Homer Theatre at 9 p.m. this Saturday, complete with a shadow cast acting out the spectacle in front of the screen. Hosted by the theater and created by the Homer Cabaret Project with cooperation from the Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic, the event is a fundraiser for the R.E.C. Room.

The show is directed and choreographed by Maura Jones with technical direction and stage management by Jessica Anne Williams.

Tickets cost $35 and can be purchased at the theater, at the Homer Bookstore or online at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/lets-do-the-time-warp-again-a-fundraiser-event-for-kbfpc-tickets-73624098661.

The R.E.C. Room, Homer’s Resource and Enrichment Co-op for youth, is an after school space and program that serves youth age 12-18. Programs such as Youth on Record, FOrK Club and the Rainbow Army (a safe space for LGBTQ youth) are offered there.

Williams, a member of the Homer Cabaret Project, said she got the idea to hold a showing of Rocky Horror in Homer last summer when she was involved in Pier One Theatre’s production of “Spamalot.” She and a handful of other cabaret participants started looking into the possibility of putting on the show, and decided to make it benefit a local organization.

“I saw how supporting Kachemak Bay Family Planning and the R.E.C. Room was of our LGBTQ community,” Williams said. “… the R.E.C. Room is a really great place for kids to have a safe place to go.”

Catriona Reynolds, executive director of the family planning clinic, said funding for the R.E.C. Room has been piecemeal over the years, coming in a large part from individual donors and groups like Rotary Club of Downtown Homer and a Pride Foundation.

“It’s truly been a shoestring budget,” she wrote.

However, the organization recently received a grant for “Positive Youth Development Afterschool Programming,” she wrote, which will allow the R.E.C. Room to begin serving sixth graders as well starting in May 2020. The organization will also be able to start providing a new program on substance misuse prevention called Healthy Lifestyles, according to Reynolds.

The success of this program will rely in part on having reliable transportation for sixth graders from West Homer Elementary and Fireweed Academy, but the clinic was not able to use grant funding to purchase a van, Reynolds wrote.

“We considered contracting for transportation, but that would divert funds that will be used for programming to a bus/transportation company,” she wrote. “Our immediate need is to raise enough funds to purchase a new or almost new roadworthy, safe van before May 2020. Funds raised by the Homer Cabaret Project and donated to the R.E.C. Room will launch the van fundraising project.”

The process of organizing the fundraiser and show has been pretty relaxed, Williams said. The majority of the time was spent waiting to get rights to show the film. Homer Theatre Manager Colleen Carroll worked with her distributor to make it happen, Williams said.

The theater has put on Rocky Horror shows in the past, Carroll said in an email. Those shows did not include a shadow cast, but utilized audience participation and prop bags during the film.

The show is being held at 9 p.m. as opposed to the traditional midnight showing in order to accommodate more members of the community of different ages.

“Historically, Rocky Horror, it’s something that can be enjoyed throughout the ages,” Williams said.

That said, the film is rated R, and youth under 16 years old will not be admitted without a parent or guardian.

The event will include all the normal staples of a Rocky Horror experience, from the costume contest before the film starts to the prop bags filled with all the necessities for partici…pation, like newspaper, a rubber glove to snap and toast. Prop bags will be available for purchase at the theater. Outside prop bags will not be allowed.

The first 25 people at the show will get their prop bags for free.

The show itself, after an initial critical flop, resurged as the object of a cult following. Audience participation of callbacks to the screen, puns and use of props developed along with shadow casts developed, and the film was repopularized as something entirely different than its original intent within a few years of its initial release. The LGBTQ community has comprised a large portion of the film’s cult following.

Williams and Jones said they hope Homer can come together not only to support the R.E.C. Room, but to be welcoming to this show and go into it with an open mind. There will be plenty of volunteers on hand to guide Rocky Horror newcomers, or “virgins,” as they are called by the film’s fans, through the experience.

The shadow cast is made up of locals, some of whom have participated in shows by Pier One. They will interact with the audience, Jones cautioned.

“We have said, if people are nervous, sit toward the middle (of your row),” Jones said.

Williams, who has never attended a Rocky Horror show but has always wanted to, said that “to have such dedicated performers like we do has really enhanced it.”

Jones and Williams said they’d like to continue holding Rocky Horror shows at the theater in the future if possible. Members of the shadow cast have mentioned that they’d like to have another chance to make the show even better next year, they said.

“I think the most important thing that I would say is that anyone who wants to come out and participate, that we will be sticking to the spirit of the event and making sure that everyone has a wonderful time,” Williams said.

Williams and Jones suggest attendees get to the show early. The film showing before Rocky Horror will end around 8:15 p.m., so they said people should be aware that traffic and parking at the theater might be tight.

Cast and Crew

Host/Emcee: Jessica Anne Williams

Brad: Peter Sheppard

Janet: Tea Chism

Magenta: Patte Doran

Riff-Raff: Connor Schmidt

Columbia: Maura Jones

Frank: Mike Tupper

Narrator: Chloe Elfreda Pleznac

Eddie: Erica Harrington

Rocky: Robin Tupper

Dr. Scott: Tom Custer

Party Guests: Glenda Hazelwood, Susannah Webster, Emily Munns, Hannah Heimbuch, Maggie Wyatt

Stage Director/Choreographer: Maura Jones

Technical Director/Stage Manager: Jessica Anne Williams

Producers: Kachemak Bay Family Planning Clinic and the Homer Cabaret Project

Reach Megan Pacer at mpacer@homernews.com.

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