A couple, wide-eyed and newly engaged, experience something unexpected.

During a romantic drive, the two stray into a bizarre world, where Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a flamboyant and fantastical transvestite, hosts various kinky shenanigans at his castle.

“The Satanic Mechanics’ production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show will take you on a strange journey,” said the erratic rival scientist Dr. Scott to the audience, as the student organization’s performance of the cult classic unfolded Sunday at Hoff Theater.

Satanic Mechanics, a SGA-funded student organization that performs cult classic shows throughout the year, celebrated the 40th anniversary of Rocky Horror, inviting alumni to act out the club’s most popular show. About 55 students and alumni participated in the performance.

“We invited back the best actors and tech crew from the last 20 years to put on a show,” said Satanic Mechanics Producer Teressa Ferraro. A shadow cast, people who act out the movie while it plays on a screen behind them, of 28 actors portrayed the famous characters, Ferraro said.

Students waited in a seemingly endless line that wrapped from Stamp’s Hoff Theater to its food court. Performers in various costumes ranging from mini skirts and corset tops to fishnet stockings and platform heels greeted each student while selling an array of stage props.

Usually, the Satanic Mechanics rehearse twice a week with roughly six rehearsals for each show, Ferraro said. However, since alumni dominated the show, this group was not able to practice as much.

“This was interesting because you have a group of people where two actors are really good at one part,” said Alex Marbach, 26, who was one of the two actors who played Brad. “This means we were only required to learn a fraction of the role.”

Sarah Hamann, 25, who was one of the three people who played Janet, said she was happy to have the chance to return to the university.

“It was also nice to be back here where you already know how everything works,” Hamann said. “When I act with other groups, there’s a whole new set of rules that I have to learn.”

More than 200 attended the performance. Most Rocky Horror shows completely sell out Hoff Theater, Ferraro said, but the performances earlier on in the semester are usually more popular.

One of the most famous traditions is the playing of the show at midnight.

“The fact that it started at midnight made me curious,” said freshman biology major Taylor Liu. “It seemed like the typical college experience.”

While shows like Beetlejuice and Ghostbusters, also comprise the group’s repertoire, Rocky Horror is easily the most popular, Ferraro said. Rocky Horror’s huge cult following draws in a wider audience.

Rocky Horror live shows and theater viewings are well-known for their cult traditions, with “virgin survival guides” posted on the Internet and interactive instructions embedded into most DVD copies.

Liu, along with her three friends, had a red V written on the center of her forehead. The V, which stands for virgin, distinguishes those who have never seen the show before.

Some people, like freshman journalism major Kaleena Dwyer, were drawn into Rocky Horror’s shock value.

“It definitely kept your attention,” Dwyer said. “The beginning scene is two chicks making out. Did I really sign up for this?”

“It was really creative,” said freshman government and politics major Melina Sotiriou, who also had a red V drawn on her forehead. “It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen.”

Overall, the Rocky Horror cast said the production allowed them to express themselves.

“This is a safe haven where you can be a geek,” Marbach said. “Things I have experienced here will stay with me always.”

Hamann agreed and said the experience changed her completely.

“Before I joined Satanic Mechanics, I always had this thought that you needed to be skinny to be pretty,” Hamann said. “But then I came here and saw people with all different body types take their clothes off in front of audiences and they love it, which makes you love your body.”

headshotMaya Pottiger is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at mayabee777@aim.com.

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