By Grace Gross, Head Culture Editor
Photos taken and collect by Grace Gross
McKendree University Spectrum Alliance sponsored a drag show at the Hett on Friday, April 8th. This event was open to students, faculty and the general public. There was a very good turnout! Ella Lehman, president of Spectrum Alliance, stated that 130 people attended the drag show.
Ella reached out to Roxxy Malone, the main host of the drag show, a few months ahead of time. “Roxxy put together the rest of the performers from her drag family and they all brought their own music and such, so that part was probably easiest.”
Ella mentioned how the reservation process for the Hett was a bit complicated. “It went smoothly thanks to Liz Crabtree and Julia Hunt.” One of the most difficult parts of this process was spreading the word about the show, according to Ella.
The secretary of the Spectrum Alliance, Jason Hurley, also played a huge role in spreading the word about the drag show. Ella said that he posted about it on the Lebanon Community Facebook page, so the general public would be there. Lots of McKendree professors pushed for this event as well.
Roxxy Malone, the main host for the evening, Analyse Thropic, Mercury Poisoning, Tassandra Crush and Brother Daniel were the performers for the show. All of the drag queens and king are performers in the St. Louis area.
Madeline Trinity is a crew member at the Hett – she typically works backstage during performances. “Backstage was fun because I got to meet the queens and king on a personal level. They were all super nice and it was cool that they were local. I always love getting to meet the performers, it’s my favorite part of working at the Hett!” Since Madeline was backstage the whole time, she didn’t get to see their performances. However, she did spend the evening working closely with the performers. “My job was super easy. I just opened and closed the curtains whenever the performers needed me to.”
According to Madeline, a few of the performers made their outfits themselves and put together their song edits on their own.
Mia Wylie, president of the Sociology Club, was a backstage crew member for the night. “Being backstage was truly a unique experience. The drag queens and the drag king were very kind and were very talkative.” Mia learned that Tassandra grew up in a town near where she lives.
Mia expands on her experience, “I was called ‘gorgeous’ by Roxxy, which was the highlight of my night. I also got to see them getting ready to go on stage or wait by the side and take their heels off. It was surprising that many of them had a degree of anxiety in preparation for going on stage.”
During one of the queen’s performances, there was a technological issue and the Taylor Swift song she was singing stopped. Without missing a beat, the audience started singing the rest of the song for her, allowing her to keep going. Mia commented on the feel of the audience during one of the performances, “Throughout the night there was this sense of community in the space, but in no way was I expecting something like an impromptu acapella session. It was so beautiful. It truly felt like a cheesy movie scene and it wasn’t planned in the slightest.”
Sean Harper worked the sound booth during the show. “It was fun to work audio for the drag show. I had never seen a drag show before, it was fun to be a part of it.”
Mekaela Deguire, vice president of the Spectrum Alliance, said their favorite part of the night was, “The crowd reaction and how pumped up they were. Especially how much fun everyone had. Dr. Alewine was the most fun.” It was great for Mekaela to see these events come back because they were the only current officer who was there in the spring of 2019.
The show was a huge success! We hope to see more events like this in the future.