‘Doing the Time Warp’ – Part Two: Director Jay Brock on Selecting the Leads of Washington Savoyards’ ‘The Rocky Horror Show’

Director Jay Brock.

In a previous article regarding the concept and vision of directing this production of the The Rocky Horror Show I discussed the inherent problem of where to strike a balance between maintaining the cult traditions and putting an artistic mark on the production.

The movie is typically what pervadesour minds when we think about The Rocky Horror Show and the musical does not deviate very far from the movie in regard to music and dialogue. The one major exception is that the movie for the most part keeps the chorus off of the camera while in the musical assumes that a chorus is present the entire time. Having the chorus onstage for the majority of the show as characters gave us a really nice opportunity to create a strong distinction between the movie and our production.

When I started the discussion about directing this show last Spring with Artistic Director, Tom Pedersen, I initially said that I didn’t think we would need a choreographer since there is traditionally little to no dance outside of “Time Warp.”  As the creative team began to talk about how to put a signature on the show it became clear that we had a golden opportunity to distinguish the musical version by actually making it a stronger dance show.

Artistic Director Tom Pedersen.

This led us to consider dance as an important factor when casting the chorus of Transylvanians, and we have ended up with a stellar group of singers who are equally talented as dancers. As we pursued this idea we began to think about how we could push this dance idea even further and took it into major consideration when casting the role of Frank-N-Furter.

When Ryan Patrick Welsh (Dr. Frank-N-Furter) auditioned for us the choreographer, Christen Svingos, and I immediately knew that we had found the right person in Ryan as a solid actor, singer and dancer who could lead the chorus in the dance numbers.

When casting Brad and Janet we found the perfect naiveté and awkward chemistry in Ali Hoxie and Chad Fornwalt, while Tim Rogan came in and (with his shirt off) and wowed the creative team with his strong vocals and…well just plain strength.

Casting a non-equity musical in DC can often be a daunting task, especially when the cast calls for seven males; I just have to say that I am still in awe of the outstanding voices of the actors in this cast, every single member is at the top of their game and it is truly an honor to collaborate with each of them.

The Rocky Horror Show plays from October 19th to November 4, 2012 at Washington Savoyards at Atlas Performing Arts Center – 1333 H Street, NE, In Washington, DC. For tickets, purchase them online.

Meet the members of the cast as they introduce themselves and their roles and characters.

Check out a special discount for the Friday, October 19th performance.

Doing the Time Warp: Part One – Director Jay Brock on His Vision for The Washington Savoyards’ ‘The Rocky Horror Show.’



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here