Student goes from Rocky Horror fan to star

Sam Schwartz, a sophomore legal studies major, secured a lead role in QSU’s Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Sam Schwartz practices for her upcoming role as Janet in the Queer Student Union’s second production of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Jenny Kerrigan | TTN
Sam Schwartz practices for her upcoming role as Janet in the Queer Student Union’s second production of Rocky Horror Picture Show. Jenny Kerrigan | TTN

A bubbly blonde in double denim walked toward the Bell Tower.  With a gleaming smile, she stopped to say hello to a friend.

A man rushed by the sorority sisters, proclaiming that there were Rocky Horror Picture Show auditions in The Underground at the Student Activities Center. With an energetic tone, he invited them to attend, she said.

Although Sam Schwartz, a sophomore legal studies major, was supposed to be making her way to the TECH center to start her homework, Schwartz said she always had a love for the comedy-horror musical.

About a month ago, Schwartz attended a sorority chapter meeting  in the Student Activities Center and afterward she said a series of weird events began to unfold. 

“I’ve never been in [any show],” Schwartz said.

Schwartz eventually secured a role as Janet Weiss,  the female lead in the play.

She said she has been to Rocky Horror shows in the past and first watched the movie when she was 12 years old.

Though Schwartz was the only one who planned to audition, the rest of her sorority sisters were intrigued as well.

“All they wanted to know was if we could move while singing and if we were comfortable on stage,” Schwartz said.

rockyhorror_lifestyle_10.8_jennykerrigan_08This is the second year Temple’s Queer Student Union is holding a Rocky Horror Show. Schwartz said the organization has received a lot of allocations because of how popular the show was last year.

There will be three shows and QSU is selling “pre-show packs” – the props that allow the audience to get involved, like rice, for one of the scenes. 

Since Schwartz has a lead role, she said she has rehearsals twice a week for three hours at a time.

“The rehearsals are fun, because we’re all super loud and boisterous,” Schwartz said.

Even with Schwartz’s minimal theater experience, she said the director and stage manager have been helpful in teaching her proper theater etiquette.

“She reminded me of Susan Sarandon in the beginning of the movie … and then I saw her audition and she ‘went’ there,” junior theater major and director Reanne Maskart said. 

For Schwartz, this high-energy show is a chance to explore talents she never thought she had.

“I like to challenge myself and it’s really a challenge in the creativity department for me,” Schwartz said.

Schwartz believes students will come to the show because they’ll know a lot of the people in the cast. Those new to the Rocky Horror experience, called the “virgins,” she said, will have a lot of fun.

There will be three shows on Oct. 30 and 31, with three different pre-shows as well.

Maskart explained that as a director, it is important for actors to be able to “bring it” on a moment’s notice. Even though Schwartz is new to the musical world, Maskart said Schwartz has proven just how fit she is for Janet through her fearlessness, especially in her willingness to be on stage in her underwear.

Emily Scott can be reached at                                                                                                                                                                                                               

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