Dancing, danger and drag fashion dominated the 12th annual Drag Show held on Saturday, Feb. 18 in the Great Hall with the theme, “Dragpocalypse,” organized by Mary Washington’s People for the Rights of Individuals of Sexual Minorities (PRISM).
The show opened with a fierce chair-dance number to Britney Spears’ 2011 hit, “Till The World Ends,” choreographed by junior Rachel Duffy. The performance served as an introduction to both the event and two-time host Cole Eskridge, outfitted as Brittany Queers’, entrance.
No better introduction could have been produced for the show: it featured the perfect performance to set up the entertaining and energetic atmosphere for the entire evening.
Brittany Queers paraded around the stage with the various dancers in high heels and a black lace bodysuit, welcoming everyone in the crowd.
The Great Hall was absolutely packed. Students were standing in line before doors opened to ensure that they would have a prime viewing experience.
When asked why she decided to attend early, sophomore Elizabeth Storey responded, “So I could get close to the stage and be able to see everything.”
However, students were not the only group attending the event. Alumni, families, members of the Fredericksburg community and faculty were also present.
A select group of faculty and staff members served as judges for the evening as well; Ricky Humphries, cashier at The Nest, Dr. Marion Sanford, Director of the James Farmer Multicultural Center, Dean of Student Life Cedric Rucker, Gary Richards, assistant professor in the English, Linguistics and Communication department and PRISM sponsor and Jim Groom, who also went by ‘Kim Droom’ at the event, director of the Division for Teaching and Learning Technologies.
This year’s drag show featured five impressive acts with names evoking innuendo: Adora Derriere, Queen Frostine, Oliver Clothesoff and Jacques Strap, Lizabette Mannelli, and returning winner, Gigi Bouton.
There was definitely a variety of crowd-pleasing performances, ranging from Adora Derriere re-enacting Nicki Minaj’s “SuperBass” to Oliver Clothesoff and Jacques Strap waving their arms around to The Lonely Island’s “I Just Had Sex.”
The crowd found themselves singing along to the performances. Gigi Bouton even took the liberty to choreograph a Beyonce Medley, featuring “Countdown” and “Run the World (Girls).”
The crowd favorite and judge’s top choice, however, was newcomer Mannelli. With an incredible stage presence and a whimsical take on classic showtunes, Mannelli stole the show and won first place.
Aside from the unconventional theme of the evening, two aspects in particular set apart the drag show from every other event on campus: audience participation and Jim Groom’s live-tweeting and streaming of the show through his Digital Storytelling 106 online radio show.
Audience members not only watched, but had the opportunity to be on stage with the drag contestants and participate in audience-oriented activities, including the classic “Condom-on-Banana” contest, “Sit-On-My-Face” balloon-popping, and the “Find My Cherry” pie-eating contest.
The Drag Show, overall, did not disappoint. It is first and foremost a fundraiser for t-shirt distribution for PRISM’s Day of Silence event, which will be on Friday, April 20 this year.
This year, PRISM intends to order one thousand t-shirts with the profits from the drag show, so the UMW community can show its support for all individuals of sexual minorities.
Image courtesy of Nancy Belle