The cast and crew of last semester’s production of Rocky Horror Picture Show collaborated this semester to create a new club called P!NG: A Performing Arts Collective, a club that aims to provide a creative outlet for Webster students.
The one-night-only production of Rocky Horror Picture Show, sponsored by the LGBTQ Alliance, was performed to a sold-out crowd. The production happened outside of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and the cast and crew knew they wanted to continue to hold productions like Rocky.
P!NG co-president Dan Brake said immediately after Rocky, people kept asking him what was next. Using Facebook messages, Brake and the rest of the cast and crew discussed ideas for how they could keep the theatre group alive in the future. The idea for P!NG evolved from these discussions.
Co-president Kat Scott contacted Webster’s Student Government Association (SGA) and set up a meeting to turn P!NG into an organization. P!NG’s board met with SGA on Feb. 2 and received the approval to officially become a Webster club.
“Kat has been incredible,” Brake said. “She got a lot of the constitution work and the amendments together for the club. She also got us the meeting with SGA, so without her I could picture this not as going as fast as it did.”
President of LGBTQ Alliance and treasurer of P!NG Josh Tyler paid for the last production of Rocky out of his own pocket and was then reimbursed by SGA. The last production only had a budget of $375, and each performer purchased their own costume.
In the fall 2016 semester, P!NG intends to team up with LGBTQ Alliance to produce Rocky again. They hope to find one more club willing to team up with them in order to gain the $9,000 budget through co-programming. After the success of the first Rocky production, Brake said he believes they will be granted the budget if they partner up with two clubs.
“With co-programming, we believe we can get the $9,000 budget,” Brake said. “With a bigger budget, we will be able to have a bigger space, more performance days. We’ll have more of an engaging presence as well, which we weren’t able to do for the one night.”
This semester, P!NG will start out with a smaller budget of $1,200. With that budget, the club intends to hold a cabaret and karaoke night to attract attention to their club. P!NG wants to use the cabaret and karaoke night to build social status on campus before the 2016 fall semester.
“It’s more on the social aspect this semester,” Brake said. “A lot of it right now is establishing our presence.”
The next showing of Rocky will again be a theatrical version. The club intends to hold auditions at the end of this semester. In addition to the five theatre production showings of Rocky, Scott wants to do a midnight “shadow cast” performance after the last showing.
The shadow cast is a tradition in which the crowd is invited to dress up and interact with the performance. At shadow casts the crowd often times throws rice in the crowd, sings along and screams out the lines. During shadow casts, the performers mouth the words from the movie while the movie plays on a projector behind them.
“I was disappointed that [the crowd interaction] got lost in the process of the last show,” Scott said. “[With the shadow cast] there isn’t huge dance and singing numbers and it’s more miming and the rice throwing and everything from that cultural side.”
Scott said she knew she wanted the club to be more than performing arts and has a vision for other visual aspects that can be included. Scott said it was important to include “A Performing Arts Collective” at the end of the club’s name to show that they are not just a theatre group. She wants to include animation majors, graphic designers, website creators and more in the club.
“We are looking for more collaboration,” Scott said. “We were dancing around on how we wanted to title it. Some people wanted it to be just a theatre thing, but I wanted to make sure the focus was, it’s a collective, so it’s not just performers.”
Before the club was official, students at Webster expressed interest in joining. P!NG collected signatures to present at their proposal, and within one day, 40 students had signed the petition showing their interest in joining.
“We are a really close family,” Tyler said. “We are really accepting and really diverse. We are just having fun; we’re not going to discourage anyone to come to our club. We want everyone to be in our club.”