Rocky Horror Picture Show Banned

Galaxy Con To Hold Drag Show on Day Texas Drag Ban Takes Effect

AUSTIN, TEXAS – On September 1st, 2023, a new law banning drag performances in public spaces where minors may be present will take effect in Texas. On the very same day, Galaxy Con Austin is set to host a shadowcast performance of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, a cult classic known for its gender-bending cast and sexually charged themes.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the Drag Ban

The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been a staple of the musical theater community for over 40 years. Its “shadowcasts” – performers who act out the movie onstage while it plays on a screen behind them – have attracted audiences of all ages. The show’s gender-bending characters and themes have made it a queer safe space and a significant entry point into the world of theater and performance art.

However, the new Texas law, similar to legislation passed in Tennessee and other states, restricts “adult cabaret performances” from taking place on “public property” or any “non-age-restricted private property where a minor can be present.” The language of the law is vague, never citing the word “drag” and only targeting entertainers appealing to a “prurient interest.” It also fails to clarify whether theater featuring drag components is considered an “adult cabaret performance.”

Galaxy Con Austin’s Potential Violations

Rocky Horror Picture Show

Galaxy Con’s Rocky Horror Picture Show shadow cast is an all-ages event. According to the letter of the law, the lack of age restrictions is seemingly a clear violation of the new legislation.

Even if the event were restricted to attendees 18 and older, it might still be in violation due to the vague “premise” language in the law.

The event is set to begin at 7:30 pm, while the convention hall, where families will be present, closes at 8:00 pm. This timing could further complicate the interpretation of the law as the premise could apply to the convention center itself and not just the main stage where the Rocky Horror Picture Show event will take place.

Performers and Potential Consequences

The shadowcast performance will feature Barry Bostwick as Dr. Frank-N-Furter, along with the Pineapple-Shaped Lamps cast. The special experience package includes priority seating, a meet & greet with the cast, signed posters, and more.

Venues that host such entertainment in the presence of minors could lose their liquor license, while individual violators could face hefty fines and possible jail time (upwards of six years for subsequent offenses). The potential cost to GalaxyCon could be as high as $10,000.

GalaxyCon’s Stance

GalaxyCon did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, the event’s continuation, despite the new law, may stand as a symbol of resistance to legislation that many view as targeting the LGBTQ+ community and stifling artistic expression.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show: A Cultural Phenomenon

Still of Tim Curry as Frank-N-Furter in The Rocky Horror Picture Show

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is more than just a musical; it’s a cultural phenomenon that has captivated audiences since its debut in 1975. Known for its eclectic blend of rock ‘n’ roll, science fiction, and sexual exploration, the show has become a symbol of counterculture and a celebration of individuality.

Live Performances and Shadowcasts

Live performances of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, known as “shadowcasts,” have become a unique and integral part of the show’s culture. During these performances, actors mimic the actions on the screen behind them, often adding their own flair and interpretation. Audience participation is encouraged, with fans dressing up as characters, shouting responses at the screen, and using props.

The shadowcast tradition has created a tight-knit community of fans and performers who come together to celebrate the show’s themes of self-expression, sexual liberation, and non-conformity.

Drag Culture and Rocky Horror

Drag plays a significant role in the Rocky Horror Picture Show, both in its content and in its performances. The character of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a self-proclaimed “sweet transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania,” is often played by drag performers in shadowcasts. The character’s bold and unapologetic embrace of gender fluidity has made him an icon in the LGBTQ+ community.

Many shadowcast troupes include drag performers, and the show’s themes of transformation and self-discovery resonate deeply with drag culture. The blending of drag with the Rocky Horror Picture Show has created a space where performers and audiences can explore and celebrate their identities without judgment.

Potential Impact of the Texas Drag Ban

The Texas drag ban’s vague language and potential interpretation could threaten the rich tradition of Rocky Horror shadowcasts in the state. By potentially categorizing these performances as “adult cabaret performances,” the law could stifle the artistic expression and community engagement that have become synonymous with the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

The ban could also have a chilling effect on drag culture more broadly, limiting opportunities for performers and reducing spaces where the LGBTQ+ community can come together in celebration and solidarity.

Protecting Artistic Freedom and LGBTQ+ Rights: The Ongoing Challenge


The intersection of the Texas drag ban with the rich tradition of the Rocky Horror Picture Show underscores the importance of clear legislation that respects artistic freedom and the rights of marginalized communities. The situation with Galaxy Con Austin’s event serves as a stark reminder of how vague and ill-defined laws can have far-reaching consequences on the arts, culture, and the LGBTQ+ community. It highlights the ongoing challenge of protecting individual expression and diversity in the face of restrictive legislation.

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