McCain Auditorium will be over flooded with patrons and drag queens for the 10th annual K-State Drag Show Saturday night. Doors will open at 6:15 p.m., and the show will begin at 7:00 p.m.
The annual K-State Drag Show brings in drag queens, also known as female illusionists or female impersonators, from all over the nation to perform in Manhattan. This event is sponsored by the Union Program Council, the Student Governing Association, Student Organization for Cultural Studies and the K-State LGBT Resource Center.
“This is a performance that challenges what we think we know about gender and sexuality to the highest degree,” said Laura Thacker, president of SOSC and graduate student in English and women’s studies.
Drag queens have always been a part of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. Brandon Haddock, coordinator for the LGBT Resource Center, said drag shows, and in particular this one, is used as a celebration of LGBT or queer culture.
“Drag queens have been at the forefront of the LGBT movement, as well as other social justice movements,” Haddock said. “Drag queens are female impersonators that create or bring entertainment to large audiences of people. It has been an integral part of our queer history and used as a celebration for the queer community. Drag is more than a boy putting on a dress and lip syncing to a song.”
People who have attended the drag show in the past can expect changes for this year’s event; the biggest of which being that instead of multiple performances spanning over several nights, there will only be a single three hour-long performance on Saturday. The show is also moving its location from Forum Hall to McCain Auditorium.
Another change is that there will be tip runners. The purpose of tip runners are to allow the drag queens to focus on their performances, routines and songs instead of on collecting money from the audience. All tip runners will be wearing bright pink shirts and will be wandering the isles during the performance to collect the majority of the audience’s tips.
Every year, the drag show has gained more and more popularity; seating has sold out in Forum Hall multiple times. Moving the show to McCain offers more space to accommodate the growing audience.
“I am looking forward to our K-State community coming together once again to experience this type of entertainment,” Haddock said. “Even if it’s just a couple hours, it’s a glimpse into a part of our culture.”
Thacker said that over the years, the event has continued to grow. She said there is a lot of hard work people have put into it for the past 10 years.
“This show is a testament to how K-State and Kansas are different, because this drag show does exist and continues to build momentum every year,” Thacker said. “This show continues to grow because people are vested in it. They don’t just come once to see what it is. They come again and again, as well as tell others.”
This year, according to Thacker, there were many committed people from several different organizations, and that without them the show wouldn’t have been possible.
Haddock said there is no other university in the state that has had an event this large run for as long as this one.
“It’s a cultural experience,” Haddock said. “This show is supported by our administration, SGA and many other organizations. It shows how K-State recognizes that there are differences in our community. (K-State) respects and celebrates those differences.”
Admission is free for students who show their K-State Wildcat I.D. when picking up tickets at the McCain Box Office. Students may claim up to four free tickets. If more are desired, the ticket price is $5, which is also the same for general admission for community members. Tickets went on sale on Thursday, but can be picked up throughout Friday, as well as at the door Saturday night.