Big Cityyy Arts and Paris Performers’ Theatre (PPT) have teamed up for a fundraiser event to help raise money for the theatre’s upcoming season.
Facilitators Rubyyy Jones, a long-time burlesque performer and their partner Prinx Lydia, a costume maker and designer, arranged with PPT to send out a call to locals who were interested in exploring and experiencing the art of drag.
The event was broken into two-parts, a Drag 101 Crash Course and a performance night to showcase the new acts.
For the crash course, Rubyyy Jones and Prinx Lydia hosted two virtual workshops and two in-person workshops held in Paris where 12 performers learned about drag history, lip-synch lessons, drag physicality, costume and virtual storytelling, concept and performance, act and persona development, as well as drag makeup.
Come performance night, Jones will be hosting and performing in the event alongside the new acts as they take the stage for the first time.
For those going to the drag show, attendees will experience plenty of variety from Cher lip-sync acts to individuals talking about their rural queer identity while lip-syncing to country songs.
Jones said that the audience can expect a night of intensity, creativity and ingenuity.
“Cabaret is very different [than theatre] in that it’s a ruckus, and it’s a conversation between the performer and the audience,” they said. “There’s no fourth wall, you’re just in it and you’re in people’s face, you’re getting tips, and the proximity is there…it’s just a totally different beast. In a way, it’s like theatre to the max because you get all this stuff that you get in theatre – you get the theatrics and the costume and the drama and the staging, but then there’s this other layer of it where you are also in a way, involved in the performance. Even if that’s just tipping or clapping, or even looking the performer in the eye, that’s very different to theatre.”
Prinx Lydia hopes that folks will come out to enjoy that show and that they will see that excitement that comes along with it.
“Drag can be so many things, and it is so many things to so many different people,” Lydia said. It’s always great to see someone’s interpretation of what drag is them and express themselves through it. Even if you’ve got the same cast of people, you’ll never see the same drag show twice, and I think that is one of the really exciting things about it.”
The Paris Performers’ Theatre is a not-for-profit company that is funded via fundraising and community support. In order to do bigger shows, the company often puts on smaller shows to help fund the bigger projects.
The performance night will take place on Friday, January 13, 2022 at the Paris Fairgrounds in the Special Events room and will be 19+. Tickets are pay what you can and can be purchased ahead of time or at the door, snacks and drinks will be available to purchase.