Batavia, New York - Though the term “drag queen” is relatively new to modern diction, history is replete with many examples of ceremonial ‘cross-dressing’ in ancient religious rites, eclectic entertainment and tribal celebrations. The Aztecs, Incas and Egyptians are among the great civilizations of the past with documented forms of cross dressing as an art form. Though they were not called “drag queens” at the time, original performances of Shakespeare and also Italian operas were dominated by men dressing as women, as were old vaudeville shows of the 1800s. And since 1933, no fewer than 48 American films have featured a wide array of drag queen performances for entertainment and dynamic storylines. (Remember Tootsie starring Dustin Hoffman or Mrs. Doubtfire with the late Robin Williams?)
Today, drag queens and drag kings create a unique art form featuring exaggerated feminine or masculine personas with flamboyant clothing, hair styles and make-up to enrich performances. These acts usually include singing, music, lip-syncing, dance, monologues, skits and comedy that celebrates self-expression, while sharing great fun and laughter. All this is coming to Genesee Community College’s Batavia Campus on Saturday, March 30, 2019.
Sponsored by GCC’s SAGA (Sexuality and Gender Acceptance) Student Club, GCC is opening the doors to the Stuart Steiner Theatre not just for a drag show, but The Battle in Batavia—a drag queen and king competition where professional drag artists from Buffalo and Rochester will skirmish amongst amateur drag kings and queens from the campus community. The Battle in Batavia is more than inaugural drag show, though. It is also an important fundraiser to support the College’s first and only LGBTQ Scholarship at GCC. All proceeds from the event will fund this newly established scholarship opportunity which will provide financial assistance to eligible students facing emergency situations, or helping to offset financial hardships by covering the cost books, tuition, child care, or other obstacles to academic success.
Only 20 contestants will be allowed to enter The Battle in Batavia, and a first, second and third place winner will be recognized in the following three categories: Professionals, Amateurs and GCC Alumni. Already registered in the Professional category are Jayme Coxx, Christian Gaye and Winter K. Storm of Buffalo, and Aziza Bijou, Destiny Spice and Cassanova Theking of Rochester. Anyone interested in entering the fun-filled competition under the Amateur and GCC Alumni categories can easily sign up at http://signup.com/go/WMQEpto. There is no cost to enter. In addition, several judging positions are also available and anyone interested should contact Kate Trombley, director of the TRIO Adult Educational Opportunity Center and advisor for GCC’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) by emailing email@example.com.
The Battle in Batavia starts off with a pre-show reception in the Lobby of the Stuart Steiner Theatre from 6 - 7 p.m. where attendees can meet some of the contestants already in character. Refreshments will be provided. At 7 p.m., the Battle begins! Each contestant will perform his or her piece to music of their choosing. There will be two acts, and during the intermission a question and answer session will allow the audience to interact with the stars of the show.
Purchasing advance tickets to the Inaugural SAGA Drag Show on March 30, 2019 is strongly advised! A single advance seat is just $5.00 in advance or $6.00 at the door, if any seats are still available. Discounted group rates are also available. A group of 10-19 people is just $40.00; and a group of 20 or more people is just $75.00. Tickets are available by calling (585) 345-6836; emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by stopping by Office D208 at GCC’s Batavia Campus. This show is recommended for mature audiences only as it may include strong language or sexual innuendo.
Those not interested in competing, or unable to attend – but would like to support the important cause can contribute as a sponsor or make a charitable donation. In addition, volunteers are being sought to work at the event and will receive free admission to the show. For further information contact Katherine Trombley, director of GCC’s Adult Educational Opportunity Center at email@example.com or by calling (585) 343-0055 ext.6836.
“This event was extremely important for GCC as we strive to build awareness and education regarding inclusivity, diversity and equity for all,” Trombley said. “Through the hard work, diligence and passion of the SAGA Club members, who represent the spectrum of LGBTQ+ students at GCC, the stage is set for this inaugural event, to celebrate diversity on campus while building LGBTQ Scholarships. The tentative date set for next school year is November 16, 2019, in the Steiner Theatre and the students are in the process of creating a non-profit, 501c3 organization to support rural LGBTQ+ students from the counties of Genesee, Livingston, Orleans and Wyoming, which currently does not exist.”
For more information, contact Marketing Communications Associate Director Donna Rae Sutherland at (585) 343-0055 ext. 6616, or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Editor’s Note: For the poster of The Battle in Batavia go to: