Rocky Horror canceled due to COVID-19

The cast works backstage Halloween night during the Capitol Theater’s annual showing of cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show on Oct. 31, 2018. Director Kelsey noted, “[the cast] auditioned 35 days ago but now look like completely different actors on stage. I couldn’t be more proud.”

Maggie Thornton

The cult-classic Rocky Horror Picture Show that livens up the Bowling Green community each year on Halloween will not be returning for 2020.

WKU’s Campus Activities Board hosts the Rocky Horror Picture Show each year at SKyPAC. Rocky Horror is one of CAB’s largest productions, typically drawing in around 770 audience members.

Randall Bogard, assistant director of Student Activities, said the decision to not bring the show back for this year was not a difficult one.

“This was not a difficult decision for us on this end,” Bogard said. “The decision was out of concern for the health and safety of everyone usually involved in the show.”

Bogard said it’s the nature of the show that would make it near impossible to do while also social distancing and keeping cast and audience members safe.

“The cast has to be in close proximity to stay true to the show so it would not have been easy to have this fall,” Bogard said, “We also pass out goodie bags with toasted bread, rice, glitter or playing cards throughout the show so audience members can throw them in the air at different moments of the play. So with everyone touching the bags and the clean up, it would’ve made it more unsafe and unhealthy for the community.”

Bogard said there was not a major reaction to the decision to not have the show this year from those involved in its making because everyone just knew it wouldn’t be the best or safest option.

“This is something we would have finalized during the summer and we didn’t do that,” Bogard said. “So everyone was under the same impression that as we move forward into the fall, it would be best not to have the show until it was in a place where we could do the show the way it’s always been done, or even better.”

Bogard said CAB hopes that if circumstances are changed by the spring and there is a safe way to do the show, that they will bring it back next semester.

“It’s not ideal because Oct. 31 is when students love to have it and it’s great for us, but for the students involved and the Bowling Green community, we felt it was best not to have it this fall,” Bogard said, “If things work out we’d love to do it in the Spring but that is on the community around us, maintaining CDC guidelines and practicing social distancing.”

Bogard said because Rocky Horror is a cult classic, everyone who comes to the show has most likely seen it multiple times and is very invested. He believes the absence of the show will be felt.

“For those who are waiting, we’re gonna bring it back as soon as it’s safe for everybody, and once it’s back, we hope to see everybody out there.” Bogard said.

Maggie Thornton can be reached at [email protected].