"We don't have time to discuss this in committee!"
- Han Solo
In every organization there comes a time when the clamor of many voice not only becomes unnecessary, but counterproductive. Putting on a show as big as ours is a daunting task, and as such it requires a special strike-team to focus on it 100%.
While Zen Room has been performing The Rocky Horror Picture Show for 13 years under the moniker of Big Purple Onion Productions, until 2000, BPOP was a catchy name only. It had no formal structure and merely served to take up a line or two in the program. The staff of BPOP was synonymous with leadership of Zen Room. 2000 saw a changing of the guard within the club structure, and the new staff heeded the cries of the masses. The production needed definite direction. It needed people who could be trusted to do the right thing for the show, who would do the work that others were unwilling or unable to do, and who would not have to worry about clearing every single decision through the rest of the club.
Big Purple Onion Productions is a sub-set of Zen Room charged with one function: Produce the Rocky Horror Picture Show. It is made up of sixteen individuals, headed by the Executive Producer, who deal with all the fiddly bits of making the show happen, from booking the theater to casting to advertising to counting and embezzling the profits.
Unlike Zen Room, which is by all accounts a socialist-anarchist-democracy, BPOP is a benevolent dictatorship. New staff is selected by the Executive Producer based primarily upon experience and ability to perform the tasks required by the positions. Positions in BPOP staff last until you quit, we fire you, or you die, sometimes all three. BPOP attempts to operate as a "real" professional production company because we think the audience deserves a "real" show. So far the audiences seem to agree.
Many aspects of the production are still decided by the club. Things like show themes, allotted budget (what the club will give them as opposed to what the staff thinks they need), and most major decisions facing the production are discussed, voted on, and handled by the club. Things such as ordering the print, casting, advertising, security really cannot be handled in committee and doing so rarely helps achieve anything more than missed deadlines, confusion (hey, I thought you were doing that), and a form of anarchy which while not necessarily bad, usually leads to a poor show, which leads to smaller audiences, which leads to no more shows.
In the coming years Big Purple Onion Productions is looking to expand their focus. We've found that for the most part they all know what they are doing and work well at putting on productions. BPOP is looking for events, performances, and other forms of entertainment that fit into the fun, sexy, yet oddly compelling and important niche invoked by our flagship production. First on the list: The Rocky Horror Show. No movie, no lip-syncing, just men in drag, a band, and 2 hours of fun.
You can take a look at the manifesto by which BPOP functions.
Meet the Staff