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IT IS MY GENERAL PURPOSE AS AN AFRICAN- AMERICAN OWNED PRODUCTION FIRM TO EDUCATE, CULTIVATE, AND ENHANCE THE KNOWLEDGE OF AMERICANS AND TO UPLIFT OUR COMMUNITY AS A WHOLE. EARLORRIN PRODUCTIONS, IS ENRICHED WITH A DEDICATED TEAM TO EXPLORE AND PEAR OUTSIDE THE SOCIETAL NORMS, ENHANCING THEIR SKILL SET TO BE ONE OF THE GENERATION’S INNOVATIVE LEADERS IN THE ARTISTIC HUMANITIES.
EARLORRIN PRODUCTIONS, HAS PRODUCED THE FIRST ALL-AFRICAN-AMERICAN SHADOW-CAST ENSEMBLE OF THE 1975 CULT CLASSIC ROCKY HORROR PICTURE SHOW. THE PRODUCTION WILL FEATURE CROWD ENGAGEMENT. PLACING AUDIENCES IN THE COMEDIC EXPERIENCE THAT IS DR. FRANK-N-FURTER'S CASTLE.
THE PRODUCTION COMPANY HAS DECIDED TO EVOKE THE AGE OLD TRADITION OF A SHADOW CAST FOR THIS HIGHLY PROVOCATIVE YET ENTERTAINING PRODUCTION. THE CAST WILL DRAMATICALLY MIME THE FILM AS IT PLAYS ON A LARGE SCREEN AND ENCOURAGE THE AUDIENCE TO SING ALONG AND INTERACT WITH THE STORY BRINGING ANOTHER DIMENSION TO THE SHADOWCAST.
ALL AFRICAN AMERICAN SHADOWCAST
Learn More about EARL MELVIN'S Drive for "Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror" below. Courtesy of "The Gazette"
Thursday February 12, 2015
Group puts ‘chocolate’ twist on ‘Rocky Horror’
An interactive cult classic gets a new take on a subversive tradition with EARLORRIN Production’s “Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror,” taking place at 9 p.m. on Friday.
First shown in 1975, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” has continuously run in movie theaters in limited release thanks to its continued popularity. Many viewers come to screenings in costume and with props appropriate for different scenes in the movie, and almost every viewing has a “shadow cast,” or a group of people who act out the film — songs included — as it plays in the background.
Earl Melvin’s vision for his “Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror” show, the first project for his production company, is to feature an all-black shadow cast.
He first saw “Rocky Horror” in college and it resonated with him immediately; however, there were aspects of the screenings he would go to that he felt were missing some of the great aspects of the film itself.
“I fell in love with the music, and felt it wasn’t really extracted enough when it came to the following of the film — it was more of a party-type atmosphere,” Melvin said. “I really wanted to cover the music with different voices — African-American voices — and let our struggle in a sense shine through the film.”
While billed as the first shadow cast with black actors, it was important for Melvin to showcase the full African diaspora on stage, including Africans and islanders, to present a diverse cast many “Rocky Horror” screening attendees may not have encountered often.
The film is known for providing an outlet of expression for those who feel they don’t fit in or want the freedom to be different — messages Melvin felt would resonate with audiences and would make the show a great choice for the first EARLORRIN Productions project.
“As an African-American man whose audience is in the African-American community,” he said, “I needed a way to pull in my audience while exposing them to the freedom that is ‘Rocky Horror,’ the organized chaos, if you will.”
Creating a cast made up of people from one subset of the population also allowed him to examine stereotypes seen in mainstream media throughout the country.
“I noticed that, in the black community, when we tend to do things that are sexual that our counterparts of other races do as well, it comes off a little more sexual, a little more aggressive,” Melvin said. “That’s a topic we have roundtables about, and ‘Rocky Horror’ definitely gave me the opportunity to play with those ideas.”
The production also has allowed Melvin to shed light on issues he feels are important to the community by partnering with organizations or fundraisers for each production. On Friday, proceeds will benefit the American Heart Association; subsequent pop-up shows, or “one-night stands,” as Melvin calls them, each will benefit a different group.
Heart disease is a condition that hits close to him, as well as many others in the black community.
“It’s something we don’t really discuss — health,” Melvin said. “I know that myself, my producer and my marketing director, we’ve all had family members with heart problems in the last year, from open-heart surgery to chest pains. It’s a really big thing in our community we don’t really pay attention to.”
He hopes in the future to produce his own films, but for now he appreciates using pre-existing works as a vehicle for awareness and providing new takes on old traditions. Through “Chocolate Covered Rocky Horror,” he can raise awareness for his company and issues that are meaningful to him all at once.
“It was the challenge of coming out of the gate with such an edgy and vibrant film, having these people come out and perform practically in lingerie,” he said,” it really seemed like an incredible feat. I felt like if I do this the right way, I can develop that following for the underground theater community.”
oct 27 n 28
BCCC Liberty Campus
Fine Arts Theater
2 for $25 & 1 for $15.