Topic-icon Audience Participation at the play

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5 years 5 months ago #3641 by Bruce E

I have had two experiences with the stage show, the first was the Boston Rock Opera back in 1997, they knew what they were getting themselves into. They had two former Full Body Cast member as trannies in the show, and FBC went to the dress rehearsal to prepare them.

The second is a more interesting story, When I first joined here I met online the director of the local Spring Hill Theater production of Rocky, she and I started talking on line and I offered to bring members of our cast to a rehearsal to get them ready for AP. So a group of her cast came and visited our show and then the next week we went up for the second to last rehearsal that they had. We had about six of our loudest people. We got there and found the director just before they started, she and the cast were thrilled to have us there. The management of the theater was not so pleased. They didn't think it was a good idea. Mostly since the local jr high was rehearsing in the next room. Finally it was decided we would stay but keep it PG as much as possible. We ended up biting our tongues a lot that night.

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5 years 5 months ago #3642 by Steve Worek

I went to see the play a couple years ago, and though they encouraged callbacks, I quickly realized that NO ONE was going to do them but me. The Narrator (female) said 'heavy, black and pendulous', so I yelled 'like your tits' which got a laugh - but after that I didn't dare try again, I would've just been an ass doing it alone, I think. It's different yelling at the movie alone.

Being the only one yelling at the movie's great, because you *know* the room full of newbies HATES you by the end of it; but with live actors you just end up feeling like that one asshole heckler.

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5 years 3 months ago #4055 by Abq_Eddie

We attended a show at UNM, in costume, per the request of the players in the RHS. When we walked in the "phantoms" are hunting for Eddie and calling out his name. The audience got a kick out of it when I walked in as Eddie.

The show did state zero callbacks and participation to be done, and we sat in the front row as it was on the same level with the musicians that hid us away from the audience to no distract from the production.

If the director knows what he is setting up the cast for AP shouldn't be an issue. But do expect it to break some actors from character.

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5 years 3 months ago #4081 by Alicorn

I went to a production last October done by fans of the entire Rocky phenomenon, so they highly encouraged participation of all sorts (they sold their own prop packs, with water guns and everything! The Narrator had a super-soaker, cheater.) The Narrator also played floorwalker, to give an idea of how thoroughly they embraced callbacks - and there were a few people in the audience who shouted as well, including me and my group.

It was in a tiny community theater, the only way you could tell where the stage ended and the audience began was that the audience had chairs, so the setting was really intimate and the actors did a lot of audience interaction. Brad sat in my lap for part of Once In A While :3

Occasionally the callbacks broke the actors, but they laughed and rolled with it - it was all part of the experience. I wouldn't mind seeing a production where you're expected to refrain from such shenanigans, but it really worked for that size of a space, and I didn't feel like it was disrespectful of the performers. Maybe my view is a little warped because that space was actually a lot MORE intimate than our shadowcast, because our theater has a very large, raised stage, so the dialogue between actors and audience felt really natural.

Also the Narrator was a friend of mine and she played the part as a dominatrix and it was really hot. That bit isn't relevant, I'm just fondly remembering ;)

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5 years 3 months ago #4083 by Becky

I have seen three different productions of the Rocky Horror Show (two of them twice), and each time it has been different for AP.

In St. Catharines, Ontario, I went to a 8pm and a midnight show. Even though they were the same production, they had quite contrasting audiences and levels of participation. The 8pm crowd did participate, but in a fairly minor way. However, the midnight crowd was quite vocal, but never in an overbearing way and never with movie lines. Participation was encouraged there, with the Phantoms/Usherette/Narrator doing lines too.

In Hamilton, Ontario, I went to a Saturday evening show and a Sunday matinee. The Saturday crowd did AP at a level at which you couldn't hear a word the Narrator was saying. I was not a fan of that. I prefer distinct lines and to be able to actually hear the actors. The Sunday show was better for AP. There was plenty of it, but it did not overwhelm the experience. I still couldn't hear much of the Narrator though.

In greatest contrast, in London, England, I went to a Saturday evening show. There were many more people dressed as characters or in other fancy dress. The AP of the night was maybe a dozen lines, but they were all well timed and very good lines. These were mostly responses to the Narrator (Steve Pemberton) and to Frank. The Narrator would directly respond sometimes. Another plus of that night was that I got to meet David and Stephanie Freeman, as they were sitting right by me. :)

Point was that AP can vary greatly. I always adjust my own level of AP to that of the rest of the audience. This holds true with the movie too. Like how in Munich there just is no AP. Costumes and props, but no AP.

-Becky

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5 years 3 months ago #4087 by Big_Poppa

Anyone putting on a production of RHS really aught to know what they're getting into.

I've seen RHS three times by three different production companies and each one was a little different.

Personally, I'm there to see the play --- not yell out call backs. In a lot of cases AP from the movie doesn't really work with the film. Plus it shouldn't be a case of the cast having to compete against the audience.

The last performance I saw was the best, their Frank had a lot of fun with the AP and it sorta broke the fourth wall and made it all that much more of an enjoyable experience. One of the best parts was at "antic-i...." and when everyone was helling "SAY ITTT!!!" the Frank was like, "MAKE ME!"

-x

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1 year 7 months ago #5965 by John Fischer

A good idea before going to a live production of Rocky, or going to see the film in a theatre you're not familiar with, is to call ahead of the show and ask about etiquette, what they'll allow, what they won't allow, and so on. It's just a small bit of courtesy that could help keep Rocky going in your area for a long time to come.

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