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Participation Required: The Rocky Horror Picture Show 

click to enlarge During a rain scene in 
the film, audience 
members cover their 
heads with newspaper. - PHOTO BY GARY LOVERDE
  • Photo by Gary LoVerde
  • During a rain scene in the film, audience members cover their heads with newspaper.

Audience participation is de rigueur at Rocky Horror Picture Show screenings. While memorizing every callback and prop cue may seem daunting, here's a few things to know before the show:


It could be said that the Rocky audience callback script, which can be found in multiple places on the Internet, is a living thing that's frequently being updated. At some screenings, one might hear references to recent headlines or injections of local or regional flavor (at a recent Prytania screening, for example, a shot of the flamboyant Tranyslvanians prompted a callback about the Tulane football team). If you find it hard to keep up, just remember to shout "Asshole!" when Brad (Barry Bostwick) appears on screen, and "Slut!" when Janet (Susan Sarandon) does the same.


If you haven't seen a Rocky screening live, you are a "virgin" and will be branded as such. You might want to keep your identity a secret if you don't want to be the subject of some (fun) gentle hazing before the show.


Rocky participation calls for props to be deployed at certain moments. Besides a callback script, the audience participation kits sold at Prytania screenings include all the props needed — rice, toast, toilet paper, playing cards, party hats, noisemakers, newspaper — and instructions how to use them. It's poor Rocky etiquette to throw props at the actors or screen: if you're sitting in the front, throw back; if you're in the back, throw forward; if you're in the middle, throw up. — LAUREN LABORDE

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