Two of Western's AS Resource and Outreach Programs, the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Alliance (LGBTA) and Sexual Awareness Center (SAC), will host tryouts for the 17th Annual HIV/AIDS Charity Drag Show from 7 to 9 p.m. Feb. 4 in the Underground Coffeehouse.
For those wishing to perform in the immensely popular yearly event, Wednesday will be the last chance to audition for the main event on Feb. 26.
The LGBTA and SAC have made auditions open to anyone interested in a little karaoke even if they don't have the desire to perform in the actual drag show event.
“We are hoping to see a variety of drag acts, including drag kings and queens, androgyny or even people playing with their own gender,” LGBTA Coordinator Amber Aldrich said. “I have seen some really great drag by female-bodied, woman-identified performers who enjoy playing with the hyper-femininity of drag.”
Past performances include renditions of the Saturday Night Live skit “Dick-in-a-Box,” as well as a Britney Spears drag number in which the performer shaved his head on stage, to the delight of the audience.
“Aside from the fact that it's always a very entertaining show, people should attend because it's a great opportunity to do something fun while also benefiting charities that need support to continue to do the work they do,” Aldrich said.
She said there will also be raffle prizes for the audience to vie for, as well as the infamous “I Saw You” announcements, a fun way for audience members to let their crushes know they've been noticed.
The annual show encourages the audience to participate with screams, yells and cheers. LGBTA Program Coordinator Missy Jensen said her favorite moment from last year's show was when former Coordinator Melissa Derry couldn't figure out how to pronounce the word “quiche” while reading an “I Saw You” to the audience. The audience helped her out by shouting “QUICHE!” quite loudly at her.
The proceeds of this year's main event will be split between Bellingham's Sean Humphrey House and the Evergreen AIDS Foundation.
Both charities provide resources and advocacy for individuals living with HIV/AIDS. The Sean Humphrey House is one of a few adult family homes allowed by the State of Washington to provide residence and other services to HIV-positive adults. The Evergreen AIDS Foundation is the largest community-based agency north of Seattle that provides case management services for AIDS patients on an individual basis.
“The Drag Show raised over $3,000 [$6,000 total] each for the Sean Humphrey House and Evergreen AIDS Foundation last year, and with it going up on the [Performing Arts Center] Main Stage this year, there's an opportunity to increase that amount substantially,” Aldrich said.