The Fan Club formed at Virginia Tech in the Spring of 1992 in preparation for a performance at the Virginia Tech Union's WinterFest. While the VTU had put on showing of Rocky Horror before, it was felt that forming the cast into an organization of their own would make it easier to reserve practice space. Since then, the Tolls of Madness Cast has put on many performances in Squires Student Center Commonwealth Ballroom. In 1995, the Fan Club got funding from the Student Government Budget Board in order to put on a show celebrating the 20th anniversary of the release of the film.
Fall meetings will begin the third week of classes on Thursday nights at 8:00 PM in Litton-Reaves 1870. Meetings include weekly rehearsals after casting has occurred.
Many casts around the world perform weekly or monthly. The Tolls of Madness has instead founded many traditions to maintain continuity in the organization, since our performances happen only a couple of weekends a year:
Our very first tradition: having a party to celebrate a successful show. Usually the weekend after a performance (because we need time to recover), the parties lets us recognize hard work with Cast Superlatives (Best Wardrobe Malfunction, Most Likely to Fall Off the Stage, Worst Tire Changing Method). New club members are inducted after their first show.
One of our earliest traditions is giving new club members a cast nickname after they have survived their first show, whether as a cast member, tech or security. Veteran members work hard to find just the right name that matches the new member's personality (or what we hope their personality to become).
Tech's Homecoming game is usually held in October--just before our big shows. So we take advantage of the opportunity to advertise... and also to show school spirit. Despite trying to see how close to the "line" we can get with our float themes, we still win a prize about every other year.
Past themes have included "Pluck 'Em" (Southern Miss golden eagle) leaving a mile of feathers along the parade route, "Spray the Herd with Rocky's Secret Sauce" (Marshall thundering herd) coating a buffalo with barbeque sauce as another hung out of a grill, "Ride 'Em 'Til They're Limp" (Florida A&M rattlers) riding a 30' snake, "Squeeze the Juice of of the Orangemen" (Syracuse orangemen) Frank 'N Hokie tightened a large corset on an Orangeman which spit orange juice along the parade route, "Rocky Horror Beats Off Every Knight" (Rutgers scarlet knights) Frank 'N Hokie sword fights the Rutgers' mascot, "Rocky Horror Goes Troma on Boston" (Boston College eagle) celebrated the midnight showing of Troma Studio's Toxic Avenger 4: Citizen Toxie by horribly mutilating an eagle with improvised weapons--including a bong.
There are some Rocky Horror Call Backs that are universal: "asshole" and "slut" for example. But many casts develop some local call backs that would not work in other cities. Here at Tech, we've personalized two particular callbacks. When Riff Raff is asked, "What's his crime?" we respond with the most recent crime in Blacksburg--usually perpetrated by the football team: "He beat up a track runner," "He shot someone in Arnold's. Free shots at Arnold's!" "Cock fighting!"
When Frank's body is floating in the pool, we respond with an appropriate waterborne tragedy: "Thank you for flying Jet Blue," "Thank you for flying TWA," "I found another Kennedy," "Welcome to New Orleans."
Since we are not a weekly cast, and being at a university means we get a new crop of virgins every show, we like to provide a theme for our audiences so they'll know what to wear and feel like they are a part of the show--even if they've never attended a show before. This helps also since we are NOT a screen accurate cast: we have been building our costume supply for years, but these belong to the club and not individuals. As such, we don't have members who spend a fortune in money and time assuring their costumes absolutely match the screen. Themes let us come up with new or variant costumes for many characters, ensuring that we don't have to match the screen.
Past themes have including "Dolla' Store Night" (come dressed only in dollar store purchases), "Heaven and Hell Night" (angels and devils), "Zombie Night" (the living dead with special appearance by Michael Jackson), "Black and White Night" (the first part of the movie was shown in B/W with appropriately gray costumes and makeup), "Glow in the Dark Night," " Superhero Night," Ladies Night" (all female cast, audience not in drag paid extra to get in), "Bubble Night" (many costumes made out of bubble wrap), "Transvestite Night" (all cast cross dressed), "Fetish Night: Leave your farm animals at home" (because we had a problem with farm animals the previous year).
Putting on Rocky Horror on campus is expensive: movie rights, equipment, labor, room rentals all add up. So in our "off season" we put on other shows with significantly smaller budgets. Some of these shows are "sync movies," where we show a movie but play albums instead of the movie volume. The most famous (and first discovered" of these is The Dark Side of Oz, where we showed The Wizard of Oz while playing Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. Another instance was "Alice in Pepperland," Alice in Wonderland with two Beatles albums.
We also perform as a shadowcast with other cult movies. Past performances have included Clue, Orgazmo, Barbarella, Death Race 2000, and Willy Wonka. See our gallery page for photos.