The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A UMass Dartmouth tradition

by Lauren Medeiros, Arts & Entertainment Editor

The Rocky Horror Picture Show plays host to a menagerie of over-the-top characters and raunchy imagery, adored by a group of loyal fans since its inception in 1973.

The story of Rocky Horror centers around a newly engaged couple, Brad Majors and Janet Weiss, who get stuck in the rain and arrive at the mansion of the flamboyant and mysterious Dr. Frank N. Furter.

As the story of this cult classic progresses, things become more and more scandalous as characters deal with sexual desire and their host, a Transvestite from Transsexual Transylvania.

Here at UMass Dartmouth, the 20 Cent Fiction theatre company has been dutifully performing this cult classic for twenty-two years, with this upcoming season making it their twenty-third year.

20 Cent Fiction is a company known for its darker themes and off-the-beaten-path shows, deviating from more classical stage shows such as Grease or West Side Story.

According to alumni and previous company president Megan Sullivan, “20 Cent was always the ‘underdog’ company, putting up shows no one had heard of on basically no budget.”

Rocky Horror is the most anticipated theatrical event the company produces every year, drawing crowds just in time for Halloween. For many students, Rocky Horror has been an important part of their college experience.

When asked about inclusion and the show in general, Sullivan replied, “Really, I feel like Rocky is the best chance for people to get involved in 20 Cent. Anyone who wants to participate can, and it’s just such a fun thing to be a part of. Plus, it really reflects the attitude of the company: campy, weird, and very, very fond of sequins.”

Current sophomore Johnny Perreira, who played one of the lead roles as Brad Majors last Fall, discovered Rocky Horror as an incoming first year student.

“I stumbled across 20 Cent, this theater group full of the sweetest, funniest, weirdest angels, and I can say with complete certainty that Rocky fixed most of my problems,” Perreira said.

When asked if participating in the show is something he would recommend to new students, he replied, “I would absolutely recommend Rocky to incoming freshmen! If you’re unsure of your potential, 20 Cent will love you until you realize it.”

Reflecting further on his experience, Perreira adds, “Maybe it wasn’t Rocky Horror that made college so good. Maybe just being in college for two months automatically does that, but the Picture Show definitely did a lot for me.”

For those students looking for a place to go to meet people and join a community, 20 Cent will be holding auditions on Thursday, September 15, and Friday, September 16, at 7 p.m. in CVPA room 103.

The director for this year’s show, Nick Edwards, has stated that, “Knowledge of the movie is completely optional as a lot of the casting is based on attitude and stage presence rather than your ability to do the scene perfectly on the first go.”

During auditions, a movie clip is shown on a screen, and then the auditioner is asked to recreate the scene to the best of their ability with the movie playing in the background a second time.

For those who do not wish to audition or would prefer a smaller part, there are also positions available for “Transylvanians”.

These characters are special to live stage productions of Rocky Horror, and sit costumed among the audience for a majority of the show. No audition is required for these parts, and their entire purpose is to heckle the actors on stage during the show.

For those who cannot attend the auditions on campus but are still interested in the production, send an email to

For anyone looking to get in contact with the company for general inquiry or with questions, reach out to the current president at There is also a Facebook group to follow as well, listed under “20 Cent Fiction.”

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