An evening of scandal

Story by David Taintor

UW-Eau Claire students will have an opportunity to “do the time warp again” Friday night in the Council Fire room of Davies Center.

As part of the campus Winter Carnival, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” will screen on-campus at 11:59 p.m.

University Activities Commission Adviser Jim Brockpahler said the event has been a part of the Winter Carnival for as long as he has been involved with UAC. Typically, 300 to 500 people come to the screening, he said, and last year around 375 people were in attendance.

“It’s a real interesting experience and dynamic event,” Brockpahler said.

Brockpahler said the film is a good winter activity because it’s a fun indoor event. Many students know the film well, he said, and have a good time attending, some dressing more scandalously than the season usually permits.

“It’s definitely participatory,” he said. “Both literally when people go on stage to do the time warp, and more in the spirit of things when they call for a toast, people literally throw pieces of toast.”

Sophomores Beata McClelland and Mitch Swinburne, who co-chair the UAC films committee, said the film remains popular today because it’s a cult classic. Swinburne said it’s weird, interactive and a little messed up

“It’s like Halloween in February,” he said.

McClelland said “Rocky Horror” has become more about the experience than the film.

Last year was McClelland’s first time seeing the film, and he did so on-campus.

“Now that I’ve seen it, I can’t imagine seeing it another way,” she said.

McClelland said people even memorize the script to participate in the action.

Friday will be Swinburne’s first time seeing the film in a theater. He said first-time viewers can go to the show and follow along because a lot of the dialogue is repeated throughout the film.

Junior Zeke Witter went to the showing briefly last year. He said the show was crazy, with lots of singing, cross-dressing and water guns. The university is asking people to refrain from using squirt guns or wet food of any kind this year.

Some people may be uncomfortable about the level of audience participation, Witter said, but he stressed that it’s not required.

McClelland and Swinburne said they were planning on buying costumes Tuesday night for the show.

Last year, McClelland said, “there were a few people who came dressed as their normal selves, and saw that everyone was dressed crazy, and just took their shirts off.”

Witter said he is expecting a bigger showing than last year because he thinks more people know about it this year.

“You have to go there to see what it’s like,” Witter said. “As a film, it doesn’t really have a cohesive plot. It’s just non-stop craziness.”

Witter added that the film continues to draw an audience because people “continue to find new ways to cause shenanigans.”

McClelland said the show is an opportunity for people to let go of their inhibitions and that nobody judges each other.

Swinburne added, “You’ll never see anything like it.”