ArTown Festival: Lawlor Event Center, Reno, Nevada
For the past nine years, the Bawdy Caste has been very proud to perform in Reno, Nevada as part of the ArTown Festival. Billed as showing "the art and soul of a community that boasts resident art companies spanning 30 years (art museum, symphony, chamber orchestra, opera and a ballet)", the festival is a month long gathering and exhibition of arts, crafts, and performances of all kinds and varieties. One part of the festival is the "Movies In The Park", a weekly showing of popular movies under the stars in an open-air ampetheatre. Over the years, the audience has constantly grown to an estimated crowd of nearly 4,000 in 2006. Now set up as an annual event, ROCKY HORROR, along with the Bawdy Caste, will hopefully be around in Reno for many years to come.
Be it in our old home of Wingfield Park or the Grand Sierra Resort (formerly Reno Hilton) Amphetheater, it shows just how popular the yearly ROCKY HORROR performance has become. In just under a decade, the show's audience has grown right along with the level of enjoyment that they have at the show and that the cast has performing for the people of Reno. Our current home of the Lawlor Event Center on the campus of the University of Nevada, Reno is a place that the Bawdy Caste could never have believed we'd be performing in when we did the first show all those years back.
Here is to hoping that the show remains a fixture of both ArTown and Reno's summer attractions for years to come.
One of our favorite quotes about Reno's Artown festival came from a local editorial in which the Reno Gazette-Journal wrote, "...it has become as much a part of Reno as iced drinks and swimming. You can't imagine July without it."
As equally anticipated is the annual appearance of those famous red lips onscreen accompanied by The Bawdy Caste onstage. I say "annual" because of last year's e-mail campaign to keep Rocky in the 2000 schedule. (Honestly, we were just going to give it a year's vacation.) Clearly, the RHPS is now an integral part of each year's Artown festival (available now at www.renoisartown.com).
A very big reason for that is the enthusiasm, energy and good will generated by the Caste, who demonstrate pure dedication to this show and the 2500+ audience members. Everyone is out to have a good time, and the Caste is keenly aware of this. To our knowledge, this is one of the largest Rocky audiences each year, if not the largest.
As producer of this event, I look forward to the traditional arrival of Caste members (now friends) and their trucks, props and costumes. Often times this afternoon unloading process is met with the early arrival of die-hard audience members, staking out the prime viewing areas a full five hours before the show. We now know that families and groups of friends plan pre- and post-Rocky gatherings; some even plan group shopping trips to purchase the necessary Rocky props. (Hint to the Caste: bring PLENTY of survival kits this year, along with lots of glow sticks!)
Already, people have been inquiring about the 2001 date (Tuesday, July 3) and planning their parties. A man who saw a VH-1 broadcast donated $200 for this year's show. Ten merchants along 1st Street in downtown Reno have supplied additional funds.
A festival without Rocky and the Bawdy Caste? Nope. We couldn't imagine Artown without it.
Associate Director, Artown