UNI does the Time Warp, again



Students flocked to Strayer-Wood Theatre on Friday, Nov. 2 for a showing of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”


Many “creatures of the night” made their way onto campus Friday night for an annual Halloween treat: a screening of the 1975 cult classic “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

At 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, Alpha Psi Omega (APO), UNI’s theatre honor fraternity, hosted their yearly “Rocky Horror” showing at Strayer-Wood Theatre. Admission to the event cost either $3 or three canned goods per person, and goody bags filled with newspaper, confetti, rubber gloves and other necessities for audience participation were sold at the door for $6 each. All proceeds from this event were donated to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank.

When doors to the Strayer-Wood opened at 9:30 p.m., costumed APO members greeted a plethora of decked-out moviegoers with gaiety. Students arrived in homemade tutus, lingerie and thigh-highs, eccentric makeup, fun hats and of course, ensembles resembling their favorite Rocky Horror characters. First-time audience members were marked with red lipstick V’s to denote their “virgin” status before taking their seats.

David Harnois, in his 11th year of emceeing UNI’s Rocky Horror screening, began the night by calling all the “virgins” up front. Dozens of first-timers filled the stage to be auctioned off by Harnois for audience members’ sarcastic bids, including “finding your dad on Grindr” and “Donald Trump and Stormy Daniels’ sex tape.” This set the raunchy and humorous tone for the rest of the evening.

“The responses the audience shouted [to lines in the movie] were great, and getting everyone in on it was the best,” raved virgin Rosie Blair, a junior TESOL major.

A key component of the Rocky Horror screening tradition is audience participation. Fans slewed short quips and insults at the characters in time with music and lines and used the contents of their goody bags to interact with the film physically, such as throwing newspaper over their heads when the character Janet does so in the rain, or snapping rubber gloves on their wrists along with Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

“It was honestly one of the most unique movie experiences I’ve ever witnessed,” said junior geographic information systems major Ritz Salinas. “Like, cult fanaticism at its peak. Very fascinating!”

APO’s vice president, sophomore Zoe Sneed, organized the event and expressed enthusiasm over having Rocky Horror back at the Strayer-Wood Theatre as opposed to the Lang auditorium and Gallagher-Bluedorn venues of recent years. Moviegoers were seated on the upper level of the newly-renovated theatre under ominous red lighting. The majority of available seats were filled.

“I was shocked at the turn out,” Blair said. “I really wasn’t expecting that many people to show up! It was really impressive.”

The Alpha Zeta Chi chapter of APO has been hosting UNI’s annual screening of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” for decades since the cult classic’s inception. President Erika Bailey described the organization as a “destresser” for both theatre majors and non-majors in their sophomore year and up.

“Keep an ear out for other events from all three theatre orgs,” Sneed said, especially noting UNI Student Theatre Association’s (UNISTA) “MisCast Cabaret,” auditions for which were recently rescheduled for the spring semester. “It was rescheduled so more people would have the opportunity to participate. It’s going to be a lot of fun and we want it to be campus-wide.”

More information on events from APO, UNISTA and UNI USITT, a technical theatre organization, can be found on their respective Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as on UNI’s Student Organizations website.