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Davis, California

Monday, February 26, 2024

Let’s do the time warp again!


Sensual Daydreams Shadowcast bring you the Rocky Horror Picture Show brought to life

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, with a live shadowcast by performance group Sensual Daydreams, is coming to the Davis Graduate at 8 p.m. on Feb. 28. Prepare to shiver with antici…pation.

For those who don’t know, a shadowcast performance is typically where the movie plays, with sound, on a big screen and the actors will mimic the parts onscreen, “unless we have something funnier to do,” said Ceili Wasson, a second-year veterinary medicine student.

Wasson, who plays RiffRaff and Trixy, has been involved with the shadowcast since its inception five years ago.

“The guy who originally organised it was just a huge fan and thought there needed to be a shadowcast in Davis,” Wasson said.

Shawn Witte, a third-year graduate student in mathematics, who played Janet last year and will be playing Rocky this year, said that he loves the atmosphere and ridiculousness of the movie.

“I watched it for the first time with my then-girlfriend, a super sweet tiny girl, but when the movie was on, she was absolutely screaming lines, and some of the things that came out of her mouth…,” Witte said.

Afton Geil, a fifth-year graduate student in electrical and computer engineering, is the  president and director of Sensual Daydreams. This year, Geil will be playing Columbia and says she only really enjoys the movie when it’s shadowcasted.

“Some people love the movie for itself, but I love the atmosphere of the live performance, and the interaction,” Geil said. “The Portland group is one of my favorites, and are the longest running showing.”

Some of the interactions in question are quite filthy. Both Witte and Geil listed some of their favourite added lines as being “Where’s Santa Claus?” followed by the characters on-screen saying “burning in the fireplace.” Wasson added that in one scene, where the characters are describing storm clouds, she likes to shout “Describe Obama’s balls!” before they start, which the characters follow with “heavy, black and pendulous.” The group also has the Virgins those who have never been to a shadowcast performance come up to the stage for the Virgin games.

“The really standout people are those who contribute to the Virgin Games. We play a little game called Who’s Your Daddy,” Wasson said. “First we ask them what their dad’s name is, then their favourite cartoon character is, then we tell them the game…”

Geil encourages anyone who is nervous about attending to find a Virgin guide online. These guides are also useful reminders for the more experienced attendees, as some of the actions are a little obscure, and most of them are even physically impossible.

“The Grad has less rules than we have personally,” Wasson said. “They said people could throw meatloaf, but I don’t want to be slipping around in six-inch heels in meatloaf…”

Sensual Daydreams is constantly recruiting, and don’t take themselves too seriously. Geil rightly points out that you join the group for the love of it, not for your resume. They meet for rehearsals once a week and watch the movie every time.

“Anyone who is interested should come to any of our rehearsals, or contact me, but we are always accepting cast members,” Geil said. “We encourage people who are more shy to come hang out with us, even if they don’t end up being in the show.”

There are absolutely no requirements for membership. Most cast members have little to no theater experience, and all you need is the ability to put yourself out there.

“It’s more fun when you have no talent,” Witte said.

Geil added that a certain percentage of the cast should be willing and enthusiastic about taking their clothes off due to so many characters having such revealing costumes.

“It’s not a must, but it helps!” Geil said.

However, if you’re only interested in watching the performance, that shouldn’t stop you from embracing your inner Rocky (or Frank or Brad or Janet). Sensual Daydreams encourages everyone to dress up in costumes that they feel comfortable in, although they do list very very sparkly drag as one of their favorites.

When asked if they had any warnings for Virgins, Witte said that knowing what they were going to should be warning enough, while Wasson emphasized the good nature of the show, and how everyone in the cast is poking fun at themselves.

“I really enjoy the shock factor for new people, so we often open with a strip show,” Geil said. “It’s good to come with no expectations, and to embrace the show!”

Tickets are $8 presale at the Sensual Daydreams Silo table Wednesday through Friday, or $10 at the door. Check out the Facebook event for more details, and contact Sensual Daydreams through their Facebook page.

WRITTEN BY: Kate Snowdon – arts@theaggie.org


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