Players bring back charity drag show

Catherine Dawson, Contributing Writer

At 7 p.m. last Thursday, the Pitt-Johnstown Players put on a drag show.

The show consisted of four drag queens and three drag kings. The players put on the show to raise money for breast-cancer awareness.

The players’ advertising head Thomas Messer said he was going to be a drag queen but became sick and missed too many practices; he photographed the event instead.

The reason they chose to raise money in the form of a drag show, according to Messer, is because it’s fun and unique.

It draws crowds, Messer said.

“This shows means a lot, it means expressiveness.

“It’s people being who they are, being open and just having a good old time,” Messer said.

Sophomore Jess Numer, stage manager, helped run the drag show.

“I got involved because it is a great cause, and I love stage-managing. And it’s just straight up funny,” said Numer.

Numer said her only preparation work was going to a rehearsal the day before, which lasted about three hours.

The drag kings and queens do much more. They have to go out and buy their outfits and figure out their hair and makeup, said Numer.

They also have to go canning after rehearsal dressed in their full costume, and they must work on their performances, so a lot goes into this one night, said Numer.

“The reason we chose to do a drag show is because we were trying to think of new things and we thought of Mr. UPJ, but another club on campus already does that.

Then we thought Mrs. UPJ, and then we thought, even better, a drag show,” said Numer.

Pitt-Players chose to raise money for breast cancer because it is something that touches everyone, and it is something that is needed, so it made sense to help, said Numer.

Of money raised, 25 percent goes to the Pitt-Players to meet costs for stage production. The remaining 75 percent goes to the Joyce Murtha Foundation for breast-cancer prevention and awareness, said Numer.

This year, the drag show made roughly $700, according to Numer.

Drag King winner Victoria Snyder performed as Illuminaughty. She was dressed in a suit, had facial hair and had her hair pulled back in such a way that she looked manly.

Snyder said she got involved because she is a Pitt-Players member.

Last year, Snyder was a drag mom, which means she helped a drag queen get ready. This year, Snyder was a drag mom again, and also was a drag king.

“This drag show had a very personal connection to me. My aunt just found out (that she) had breast cancer for two years, and I had no idea, so it became very personal.

“Also, many of my friends have been touched, and I just really wanted to be a part of helping and to offer support in any way I could,” said Snyder.

To get ready for her performance Snyder said she watched hundreds of videos on drag kings and tutorials on how to change her face into a man’s.

“Drag is bringing out ultra-femininity and ultra-masculinity all at the same time in both genders. It’s embracing yourself and your confidence, so it’s a fun reminder that not only women, but men also get breast cancer,” said Snyder.