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Deena Conley
Dowd Fine Arts Center, Room 216
Phone: 607-753-2811
Fax: 607-753-5728

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SUNY Cortland Seniors to Produce 'Rocky Horror'

It’s been a long time coming for the SUNY Cortland seniors who will star in a one-night-only production of “The Rocky Horror Show” on Friday, Oct. 18.

Each year, the College’s newest crop of musical theatre majors picks a well-known quote to use as its motto. So tradition led members of the Class of 2014 to borrow from the popular 1970s cult classic when they first arrived on campus.

“Don’t dream it, be it,” the line goes.

After three years of trying to find a way to perform “The Rocky Horror Show,” their dream will be realized with an independent, student-produced show. The performance begins at 10 p.m. in the former United Community Church at 19 Church St. in Cortland.

General admission tickets can be reserved for $8 by calling 607-745-5089. Special VIP tickets, which include front-row seating, shuttle transportation to the show and entry to a cast reception, also are available for $10. VIP guests must be 21 years old.

Roughly half of the 400 available tickets already have been sold.

“The support from the community has been huge,” said Joey Gugliemelli, the show’s artistic director who also will play the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a mad transvestite scientist. “We really want to sell this thing out.”

The comedy follows a young couple forced to seek refuge during a storm in Dr. Frank-N-Furter’s bizarre home. It offers a humorous play on the science fiction and horror movies from decades ago.

Mark Reynolds, the costume designer in the College’s Performing Arts Department, will direct the show. Cast members include: Alexa Defina as Nurse Ida Bender Over; Jackie Collins as Nurse Ida Bender Over Too; Will Rivera as Brad; Emily Freeman as Janet; Lindsey Galgano as the narrator; Alejandro Circelli as Riff-Raff; Chrissy Jackson as Columbia; Jacquie Fisher as Magenta; Ben Shimkus as Rocky; David Newman as Dr. Scott; Allison Tamburello as Eddie; and Catherine Skojec, Camille Parlman, Lauren Puente, Melissa Pipher, Nikki Ferrara and Sarah Shaiman as orderlies.

Reynolds called the musical “the original cult classic experience” and said the student production will take some creative liberties.

“The culture that we live in now is a lot more accepting of even just the word transvestite,” he said. “So we’re able to push things further to make them a little more risqué.”

In fulfilling a goal he’s shared with his classmates since they were freshmen, Gugliemelli said the weeks leading up to the show have stressed all that goes into a grassroots production.

Local businesses offered discounts on their services and helped to market it. Faculty members from the Performing Arts Department volunteered their time. And cast members themselves juggled rehearsals with their commitments to the department’s production of “Rockabye Hamlet.”

“It’s all part of the business,” Gugliemelli said. “And it’s all worth it.”

Campus supporters for the event include the Performing Arts Department and the Multicultural Life and Diversity Office. The Cortland Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Resource Center also will host a free 1980s themed party preceding the show from 7 to 9 p.m. at the same location.

For more information, contact Gugliemelli, Reynolds or visit the show’s Facebook page.