Theater department to host first male beauty pageant


True performers will never pass on an opportunity to be on stage. Regular K-State theatergoers know this from the many familiar faces they see in university productions. But this Saturday may present an opportunity to see these performers in a completely new and fabulous fashion.

The first ever Mr. K-State Theater pageant is set to hit the Purple Masque stage Saturday at 7 p.m. The event, hosted by the K-State Student Theater Organization (formerly known as TAP), will operate as entertainment as well as a fundraiser. The idea was inspired by the K-State drag show held on Feb. 1.

“I was at the drag show with Clay (Massingil) and we were just kind of making jokes, like, ‘How fun would it be to have a K-State theater drag show?’ All of the guys in K-State theater would have fun with it,” said Amanda Garvey, senior in theater and historian for KSTO. “We started talking about it and I thought a beauty pageant would probably be better. That’s pretty much where it sprung from and I put it together basically in the two days after that.”

Garvey is spearheading this first attempt at a male pageant for the theater department.

“I had to bring it up at a KSTO meeting, that was the first step,” Garvey said. “I planned it all out before that meeting, so I really just had to get approval from KSTO, and then (Jennifer Vellenga, head of acting and directing, and associate professor in the School of Music, Theatre and Dance), had to pass it by the faculty to get permission from them, because we officially wanted to do it as a fundraiser.”

The pageant-style event will follow a standard structure, opening with a dance number choreographed by Jerry Jay Cranford, instructor of theater. From there, the night will dive into competition in swimwear, evening wear and talent segments. The contestants will also be asked a question on stage.

“The question will pertain to K-State theater and the betterment of our program for the students,” Garvey said.

The judges’ panel for Mr. K-State Theater will include Vellenga, as well as David Ollington, associate professor of dance and longtime judge of Dancing With the K-State Stars, and Melissa Salvatore, draper within the K-State costume shop.

“The judges will judge each portion on a scale of one to 10,” Garvey said. “They’ll score each contestant, so overall each contestant has a possible outcome of 120, but added to that score is how much money they earn during each of their segments.”

Mr. K-State Theater already has its contestants signed up, but anyone can come to the event for free admission on Saturday.

“It’s not (a) charging at the door kind of thing,” Garvey said. “We’re asking for donations in a different way.”

Audience members are asked to bring money and donate while their preferred contestant is on stage.

“The audience is encouraged to donate to the contestant who they want to win, and we’ll add that to their score,” Garvey said. “So, it’s like the audience gets to choose Mr. K-State Theater, too.

Garvey said she hopes the audience will be as energetic as the contestants are.

“We put a cap at 15 and didn’t really even expect to get 10, but we have 14,” Garvey said. “They’re excited.”

Garvey suggested that while the pageant begins at 7 p.m. in the Purple Masque, located within Memorial Stadium facing the parking garage, attendees should arrive earlier.

“Bring money,” Garvey said. “Bring your ones, fives, I mean if you want to bring tens and twenties – we’re not gonna say no. We have 94-96 seats we have to fill and we want to fill them all.”