The University of Redlands’ sixth annual Drag-O-Ween event took place in the Orton Center on Thursday, Oct. 27 from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m.
The event was organized by Pride Alliance and the Pride Center. The show featured drag queens who regularly perform at Planet Queer, a monthly LGBTQ performance art and cabaret event in Los Angeles, and some who perform independently of the group.
To kick off the night, the host, Dayshana, began with an elaborate performance consisting of cartwheels, splits, and motorboating for those who offered tips. Following the performance, Dayshana provided the audience with the event’s three cardinal rules for an enjoyable night:
1) Drink, Drink, Drink! Dayshana told the audience, “the more you drink, the better we look.” But, she went on to say that drinking was not a requirement for the event on the Redlands campus.
2) “Scream as loud, and as often, as possible.”
3) “Tip a Bitch a Dollar,” because Dayshana didn’t want any of the queens to have to spend the night on her couch.
The Planet Queer performance group included Miss Barbie-Q, Martin Matamoros, Foxie Adjuia, and Daphne Von Rey. Throughout the night, the audience enjoyed various vocal and dance performances, as well as the occasional monologue. The drag queens engaged the audience often as they danced up and down the aisles and offered occasional lap dances.
“I enjoyed the interactions between the queens and the audience,” said first time Drag-O-Ween attendee and University of Redlands junior, Olivia Franzen.
Envy, one of the queens, performed a Halloween rendition of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman,” which was thematically modified to “Do You Want to Kill the Batman.” Envy ended the act by dramatically dropping to the ground in a stylistic fall, which garnered gasps, laughs, and booming applause from the audience.
Elise Eifler, a sophomore Johnston student, was elated with the queens’ performances.
“I liked when one of the queens performed to screamo music and came up to people and scared them,” Eifler said.
With audience approval, Dayshana invited all the queens to the stage for a final, impromptu performance. The audience cheered as the queens performed side-by-side. Dayshana fiercely concluded the act by popping a decorative balloon with her stiletto heel.
Co-creator and producer of Planet Queer, Travis Wood, commented that the event was a great success and featured performers from diverse backgrounds. Wood stated that he was excited about the opportunity to entertain the Redlands community with the drag queens’ performances.
“They were freakin’ fantastic—it’s super cool we had actual drag queens here,” Eifler commented at the end of the show.
The University of Redlands’ Pride Center creates opportunities for students to engage in conversations regarding sexuality and gender. The Pride Center facilitates a variety of campus wide events involving student groups, host speakers, and community outreach. Upcoming events will include World AIDS Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance, and National Day of Silence.