Enter at your own risk! The motley collective is bringing a cult classic to a Peterborough stage this October for the group’s inaugural production.
Amy M. Cummings and Jess Lynch are the co-directors and co-founders of motley collective. “We’re putting on Richard O’Brien’s Rocky Horror Show, which first ran forty years ago this year — in 1973 — so it’s the anniversary,” explained Cummings.
As a teaser and fundraiser for the production, Cummings and Lynch are holding a variety show at Market Hall this September to show off the collective talents of the motley cast and crew. The Rocky Horror Show is “a homage to B-movies and sci-fi from the 40’s and 50’s,” said Cummings. “We want to take that vein in.”
“We’re fans doing it for the fans,” added Lynch, noting that the production overflows with campy horror which “works well for the Halloween season.”
Those who keep an eye on the Peterborough theatre scene may be curious to know where the motley collective sprung from. The group is a not-for-profit organization, supported in part by Theatre Trent, that looks to the new generation of artists from 18 to their mid-30s and tries to “bring them together to make them stronger,” said Cummings. “It started probably after Legally Blonde [last year’s production by the Anne Shirley Theatre Company, ASTC] was done, and Jess graduated.”
“We knew it was going to be Rocky for the inaugural production, but we couldn’t just say ‘it’s Amy and Jess putting it on!’ So Amy wrote up a constitution,” added Lynch.
“There were people I just loved working with and wanted to work with again,” said Cummings, “and we can’t wait to work with more people on future projects!”
Cummings explained the collaborative style of theatre she is inspired by, which involves multiple individuals responding to one object and working to create a theatrical piece. “It’s not one person’s words, it’s not one person’s perspective,” she said. “I don’t believe in originality, I believe in authenticity. The next stuff we want to work on is an original one-act play.”
Lynch and Cummings make a solid team. “Amy has the theatre background and I have the music background and we balance each other out,” reported Lynch. But the team for Rocky is only finalized by choreographer Ali Campion, who “really completes the tripod.”
“She jumped on but was hesitant as she teaches younger children, so her style isn’t so risqué. But she has turned out excellently. She is the dance director!” said Cummings.
The fundraiser for the show will be held on Sunday, September 29 at Market Hall, starting at 8pm.
“There are two styles of ticketing. There is cabaret seating at tables for $15 and you will get to interact with the Derby girls—the 705 Derby Girls—and $10 for regular seating. The bar will be open, and you can bring your drink into the seating area,” Cummings explained.
The cast will perform with the band. Other acts will include Taylor Beatty’s group Dammit Janet, Andrew Shedden, and other Peterborough favourites.
There will also be a silent auction with shoe donations from the motley collective, and downtown food vendors, including the Pastry Peddler.
“There will also be a preview for one of the numbers!” teased Cummings.
The show runs October 30 and 31, and November 1 and 2. On Halloween, it will be a late show with the curtain opening at 10:30pm, while the other shows will start at 8pm.
The Rocky Horror Show will be held in the Gordon Best above The Only Café, “an unconventional space like our unconventional group!” said Lynch. “The show will totally encompass the audience.”
Tickets are 20 dollars for students and 25 dollars for general admission. There will be 13 tickets reserved for purchase at the door each evening for 30 dollars.
Prop bags will be available at the door for those who want to give a donation. There are various moments throughout the show for audience participation. For example, the prop bags will contain Melba toast for throwing at the dinner scene, bubbles for the wedding scene, and more.
“Dressing up and interacting are highly encouraged!” reminded Cummings. There will also be a Best Costume competition after the Halloween performance.
For more information about tickets for the fundraiser or other queries, email firstname.lastname@example.org. And remember: “Don’t dream it, BE it!”