Concordia Theatre and SAGA collaborate
Concordia’s Straight and Gay Alliance teamed up with the theater honor society, Alphi Psi Omega, to host Concordia’s first-annual drag show.
Alphi Psi Omega President Hannah Wehlage was excited to do something new this year for the theater’s annual dance.
“We have a dance at the end of the year,” she said. “But the honor society wanted to change it up. We tossed around ideas for a few themes, and the idea of having a drag show came up.”
Wehlage contacted the special events coordinator for SAGA, Heather Hurner, and asked for the organizations to join together and host the event.
“Hannah approached me because she wanted to team up with another organization and thought we would be a good place to go,” Hurner said.
Hurner was excited to host this event for the first time on campus.
“It adds a whole new layer of diversity that Concordia hasn’t experienced before on campus,” she said.
The event began with a performance by several drag kings and queens. Drag performances are made up of lip syncing and dancing onstage.
In between the performances, Wehlage and Hurner explained a term about drag or elaborated on stereotypes so the audience could learn about the myths of drag. The event ended with a dance. Hurner and Wehlage chose this format so the event would be both educational and interactive.
“At the end of the day, we want to put on events that are doing something worthwhile,” Wehlage said.
All of the performers were Concordia students. Among the drag queens was junior Daniel Loyas, whose stage name is Persephone Astoria.
“I started experimenting with the makeup and fashion shortly after I got to college,” Loyas said. “I was always really interested in what drag entailed, but it wasn’t until college that I felt free to experiment with it myself.”
Loyas performed three numbers in drag on Saturday night.
“Drag gives me confidence. I feel comfortable doing things as Persephone that I would never do as Dan,” he said. “For instance, I don’t really like to go up to people and introduce myself and strike up a conversation, but as Persephone, it’s almost like wearing a mask. I love to talk to people and interact with people when I am in the makeup and the hair and the outfit.”
Concordia sophomore Marie Bauer enjoyed the energy of the event and would like to attend again.
“What I thought was amazing was how it was a judgment free zone,” she said. “It was a blast watching the performers strut their stuff.”
Wehlage and Hurner have discussed making this an annual event and hope they have established a tradition.
The drag show raised $600 for the local organization Kaleidoscope, which works to foster safe environments for LGBTQ youth.
Karen Besonen is a senior Multimedia Journalism major, originally from Apple Valley, Minnesota.
She is an enthusiast of music, along with keeping a personal blog and following the action on Capital Hill. She has a passion for traveling and philanthropic work, and with her degree, she hopes to work for a Christian nonprofit that fights the trafficking and exploitation of children.