School of the Arts

The Rocky Horror Show

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again at CSU, Chico’s Fall Musical, “The Rocky Horror Show”

3 actors in the Rocky Horror Show
(L-R): Ali William (Brad), Juan Bolaños (Frank N' Furter) & Mariah McDonald (Janet)

California State University, Chico’s School of the Arts presents the fall musical, Richard O’Brien’s The Rocky Horror Show. Performances take place Thursday–Saturday, Oct. 17–19 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday–Sunday, Oct. 19–20 at 2 p.m. in Harlen Adams Theatre. Purchase tickets at the University Box Office, 530-898-6333.

“I think that doing the ‘Time Warp’ is the best way to kick off the season!” said Megan Glynn Zollinger, director and choreographer, and Department of Music and Theatre faculty member.

In this energetic cult classic, newly engaged Brad and Janet get stuck in a storm and find themselves at the doorstep of the mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. He unveils to them his latest creation, an artificially made, physically perfect man named Rocky. As they meet a houseful of wild characters, Brad and Janet’s innocence and commitment to each other is tested. Equipped with a rock ‘n’ roll score, this comedic musical is a homage to classic B sci-fi film and horror genres. 

“There’s such a fun, vibrant energy the cast is bringing to this show,” said Glynn Zollinger.

Cast members include Juan Bolaños, Mariah McDonald, Ali William, Makenzie Ryan, Jenna Kitzes, Brandon Burchard, Branden Price, Jake Honnold, Jeff Dickenson, Raymundo Bellejos Jr., Caroline Krolicki, Ilana Greenberg, Harrie Schaufel, Jackson Taitano and Natsumi Kawamura.

Cast member Jeff Dickenson (Narrator and Department of Music and Theatre faculty member) was involved in most of the former Chico Cabaret Theatre’s productions of The Rocky Horror Show. This will be his first time in the narrator role. The cabaret staged the show annually for fifteen years and it was a community favorite. 

Janet & Brad in The Rocky Horror Show
Mariah McDonald (Janet) & Ali William (Brad)

“I’m excited to watch as people relive this show and as newcomers are introduced to it for the first time,” said Glynn Zollinger.

Designers for the show include set designer Jacob Brown (new faculty member), costume designer Kailyn Erb (student), lighting designer Jeremy Votava (staff member), assistant choreographer Kyle Crowley (student) and musical director and conductor Josh Hegg.

“We’re taking a traditional approach and adding new, unique design aspects,” said Glynn Zollinger. 

The costumes are 1950’s style clothing and transition from a Pleasantville style to more risqué as the story progresses and characters evolve. The set depicts Dr. Frank ‘N Furter’s mansion complete with pillars on each side of the stage. It is an interactive set, and the band is located onstage as part of the set.

Band members include Josh Hegg (piano), Bill Hepworth (guitar), Ryan Heimlich (bass), Greg D’Augelli (tenor sax), Dara Scholz (synthesizer), and Jaik Hakkarinen (drums).

The musical is fun and entertaining, but it also a coming of age story with a moving theme of being comfortable in your own skin and accepting the differences of others.

Frank N' Furter, Brad, & Janet from The Rocky Horror Show
(L-R): Juan Bolaños (Frank N' Furter), Ali William (Brad) & Mariah McDonald (Janet)

“At the end of the day I want people to leave feeling empowered to live life the way they want and not the way society says they should,” said Glynn Zollinger.

Richard O’Brien wrote The Rocky Horror Show in 1973 and co-wrote the screenplay of the film adaptation The Rocky Horror Picture Show, released in 1975. In addition to being a writer, O’Brien was an actor and musician. The first Broadway production of The Rocky Horror Show opened in 1975. O’Brien played Riff Raff, Dr. Frank ‘N Furter’s hunchbacked hunchman and live-in butler. The director was Jim Sharman and the musical director was D’Vaughn Pershing. 

“This show is near and dear to my heart and it’s a story everyone should experience,” said Glynn Zollinger.

This production is recommended for ages 16 and up. Tickets for the musical are priced at $20 adults, $18 seniors, $8 students and youth, and are available to purchase at CSU, Chico’s University Box Office, 530-898-6333.

For those who need special seating accommodations, please call 530-898-6333. More information is available online at the School of the Arts website and Facebook page.

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Story by Shelby Casey, School of the Arts publicity assistant


Additional Information

The Rocky Horror Show logo

California State University, Chico’s School of the Arts presents the cult classic musical The Rocky Horror Show by Richard O’Brien. Performances take place Thursday–Saturday, October 17­–19, at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday–Sunday, October 19–20, at 2 p.m. in Harlen Adams Theatre. Purchase tickets at the University Box Office or by calling 530-898-6333.

Equipped with a rock ‘n’ roll score, this comedic musical is a homage to classic B sci-fi film and horror genres. As a result of a thunderstorm and flat tire, newly engaged Brad and Janet find themselves at the doorstep of the mansion of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, an alien transvestite scientist. He unveils to them his latest creation, an artificially made, physically perfect man named Rocky. As they meet a houseful of wild characters, Brad and Janet’s innocence and commitment to each other is tested.

The original London production, produced and directed by Jim Sherman, premiered at the Royal Court Theatre in June 1973. It was performed in several London theatres due to the need for more seats. The show ran for 2,960 performances and closed in September of 1980. It won the 1973 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Best Musical.

In 1975, The Rocky Horror Show debuted on Broadway. Despite only being open for 45 shows, it received one Tony nomination and three Drama Desk nominations. The 2001 Broadway Revival won a Theatre World Award and received more Tony Award and Drama Desk nominations. 

Because of the popularity of the musical, it was adapted into a film. Released in 1975, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was largely successful as well. It became the longest-running release in film history. In 2016, it was again adapted, but this time into a TV film, The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Let’s Do the Time Warp Again.

The Rocky Horror Show is seen as an influence on the countercultural and sexual liberation movements following its creation. O’Brien describes the musical as a celebration of difference that allows marginalized communities to gather and coexist.

Critics have given the show positive ratings. The Daily Express called it “fierce and fabulous fun!” Broadway World described The Rocky Horror Show as a “groundbreaking, sensory-maximizing musical.” The New York Times stated, “A musical that deals with mutating identity and time warps becomes one of the most mutated, time-warped phenomena in show business.”


“The Rocky Horror Show” Features the Work by New Set Designer Jacob Brown

Jacob Brown headshot
Jacob Brown, set designer

The set is being designed by new set designer and music and theatre department faculty member Jacob Brown.

“The scale of this set is larger than what the show calls for and I am excited to see how the audience reacts,” said Brown.

The set is a dramatic clash of Neo Gothic architecture and the destruction of the abandoned structure Frank N’ Furter and his minions call home. This clash is shown in a rejection of the neo-gothic’s over-the-top, pristine architectural style to a more natural state. Inspiration for the set was drawn from architecture such as the Sainte Chapelle and the Notre-Dame basilica of Montreal.

This idea arose from a discussion between Brown and Director Megan Glynn Zollinger about how Frank N’ Furter doesn’t fit into the world he is in.

“One of the main themes of the musical is transfixed on this idea of being who you are, so it seemed fitting that the set should dramatically represent that idea,” said Brown. 

In addition to designing the set for The Rocky Horror Show, Brown teaches “Introduction to Design,” “Costume Practice I,” “Scene/Light Production I,” and “Production Assistant I” at CSU, Chico. 

Brown received his MFA in production design and technology from Ohio University. Brown was the assistant designer for Lana Del Ray’s “Arena Tour” and the research assistant for Jesus Christ Super Star Live on NBC. He has done set design for CSU, Bakersfield, Oberlin College, Ohio University, and Marietta College. He has also done set design for the theater companies Tantrum Theater, The Actors Company Theater, Stars Dinner Theater, Orange County Centric New Play Festival and Forest Burgh Playhouse. 

“There are many hidden gems to The Rocky Horror Show and you wouldn’t want to miss out,” said Brown. 

Tickets for the The Rocky Horror Show are priced at $20 adults, $18 seniors, and $8 students and youth, and are available to purchase at CSU, Chico’s University Box Office, 530-898-6333.

For those who need special seating accommodations, please call 530-898-6333. More information is available online at the School of the Arts website and Facebook page.

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Story by Shelby Casey, School of the Arts publicity assistant


About the Director

Megan Glynn Zollinger is an assistant professor of dance at California State University, Chico. She holds an MFA in dance from University of California, Irvine and a BA in dance from Chapman University. Some of her other accomplishments include writing, directing, and choreographing full-length production Addicted; choreographing world premiere play Eve’s Rapture, written by Bryan Reynolds and directed by Robert Cohen; having an original dance piece, A Tearful View, chosen to represent UC Irvine at the California College Dance Invitational in 2009; and much more. She continues to teach and choreograph for commercial, concert, and theatrical dance all over the country.