Rocky Horror Picture Show

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Date: 2011

Region: North America

Subject: Explicit Sexuality

Medium: Theater


Artist: Richard O’Brien

Confronting Bodies: Mayor Wayne Garner

Dates of Action: September 2011

Location: Carrolton, Georgia

Description of Artwork: Written in 1973 in London, UK, it is the story of a newly engaged couple, Brad and Janet, whose car runs a flat tire in the middle of a rain storm. They are forced to enter a nearby castle in search of a phone where they first meet Riff Raff, a handyman, and then his sister Magenta followed by a groupie Columbia. The couple tries to leave but stops when Dr. Frank N. Furter walks in, a mad transvestite scientist. Frank brings the couple to his laboratory where he reveals his creation—a blonde, well-built man by the name of Rocky Horror who is brought to life. After his tribute to him, Eddie, a man who is rendered a zombie after half his brain was removed, pops out of a freezer. Frank hacks him to death. After this incident, the couple are split and given separate rooms. Frank makes love to first Janet then Brad after, but disguises himself to make Janet believe he is Brad and Brad to believe he is Janet. He tells both of them that pleasure is no crime and promises not to tell the other. Riff Raff makes an announcement that Rocky has escaped. Janet goes to the laboratory where she sees Frank and Brad in bed on the television monitor. She finds Rocky hiding, seduces him and has sex with him. The show continues in this sort of fashion in dealing with and expressing explicit sexuality, cultural taboos, and violence. It is categorized as a rock-musical horror comedy. Audience members are known to participate in the show as well. They usually dress up in leather bound material and fishnet, would yell back lines of the, and throw props.

The Incident: The show was banned from a public venue (cultural arts center) by the Mayor after he saw video of a scene rehearsal. He felt the adult-themed material would not be suitable for the venue and that community members would find the nature of the material objectionable.

Results of Incident: Director Michelle Rougier was able to find a producer who would help match public donations to find another venue. The show is scheduled for the first week of February and is now being held at the University of West Georgia.