Saturday 17 to Thursday 22 June at 6:30 nightly
The time has come again for the Class 12 play. Throughout their high school career, Waldorf students focus on a different genre of play each year: class 9 – Shakespeare; class 10 – Greek Tragedy; class 11 – workshopped plays; class 12 – modern 20th century plays. This year, the class 12’s have made the rather unconventional choice of doing The Rocky Horror (Picture) Show. Ideally the class 12 process should involve only one play that features the whole class – who are involved on many different levels: directing, acting, costume design, stage management. This year’s class 12’s are doing just that, with most of the class having more than one part in the play and all being involved in backstage work, under the mentorship of drama teacher Janis Merand.
Drama is a discipline which teaches excellence on all levels. In order for the students to learn and fully understand this, they need to be able to find their way through the process, to make their own mistakes, to understand working as a group and taking responsibility both for individual and group choices. It takes a deft hand to know when to leave them to “flounder” and muddle things through and when to step in and pull the process back on track again. Naturally emotions run high, but the students have already said things like – “I have learnt so much about myself through this”; “I have learnt what my strengths and weakness are in a group”; “I have learnt when to recognise something that is just simply a bump in the road”; “I have found my voice”.
Although this part of the process is vital and is never seen from the outside, there still are the public performances of The Rocky Horror (Picture) Show to look forward to! These will take place at the high school from Saturday 17 June to Thursday 22 June at 6.30. Tickets cost R30. Seating is limited, so booking is strongly recommended – ph 021 785 1408 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Payment for your ticket secures your reservation.
Briefly, the story centres on a young, newly engaged couple (the preppy Brad and Janet) whose car breaks down in the rain near a castle where they seek a telephone to call for help. The castle is occupied by strangers in elaborate (and often revealing) costumes celebrating an annual convention. They discover the head of the house is Frank N. Furter, an apparent mad scientist who actually is an alien transvestite who creates a living muscle man in his laboratory. The couple is seduced separately by the mad scientist and eventually released by the servants who take control.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show in its most famous incarnation is a 1975 musical comedy horror film, featuring Tim Curry as transvestite Frank N. Furter. It was based on the 1973 musical stage production The Rocky Horror Show. The production is a parody tribute to the science fiction and horror B movies of the 1930s through to the early 1970s. It gained cult status, as audience members increasingly became more involved with the film, talking back to the screen, began dressing as the characters and lip-synced characters’ lines. With this year’s production, we are hoping to encourage similar “shadow casts”, we urge audience members to dress up! There will be karaoke sheets available to sing along – please join in the fun!
The Rocky Horror (Picture) Show in its 2017 incarnation, still asks important questions. With the current fluidity around gender identity and the recognition of a growing LGBTI community, no longer on society’s fringes, but taking their place as productive, healthy and gradually accepted members of mainstream society – our own daring and high achieving Caster Semenya is an obvious example – cross-dressing and transvestitism no longer have such shock value. It is often misunderstood and maligned and our class 12’s are playing with these concepts through this production. We have a girl playing the role of Brad, for example, in one of the casts. One of the darker aspects that the play deals with is the seeming paradox of how limiting excess can be. We see the pleasure-seeking Frank, who will stop at virtually nothing to have his way – being caught in the cycle of this pursuit and claiming towards the end of the play: “It’s not easy having a good time – even smiling makes my face ache…”. We see Brad and Janet, innocent, naive, but with little imagination and depth, discovering their more sensual selves. Both positions taken to extremes limit the individual, but need to be brought into balance to live fulfilled, rounded lives.
Finally, this production needs to have an age restriction of no under 15’s. This is fairly common practice at Waldorf schools for the class 12 plays, as they often deal with subject matter inappropriate for a younger audience. Similarly, the cast presents themselves in vulnerable ways that they are trusting a mature audience will be able to appreciate. The interpretation of set and venue is also creative this year, as audiences will move through the castle with the performance, and will need to go up stairs at one point.
Refreshments will be on sale before the performance and at interval.
Dress up, sing along and join us for some rollicking fun! It’s just a jump to the left…
By Janis Merand