Back by popular demand, the University Program Council, or UPC, at Ohio University is hosting its second annual Welcome Week drag show this Friday.
Last year, students saw the UPC host "RuPaul’s Drag Race" Season Five and "RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars" Season Two contestant Coco Montrese perform amongst other local drag entertainers on South Green.
Claire Richards, a sophomore studying biology, said last year’s drag show inspired her to go to more since then, finding excitement in watching drag entertainers perform.
“I got really into 'Drag Race' last summer, so when I saw that Coco (Montrese) was coming last year, I got really excited,” Richards said. “Since then, I've been to a lot of drag shows with queens from 'Drag Race' without queens from 'Drag Race,' but it's something that is definitely a hobby of mine.”
Ava Meier, a junior studying communication sciences and disorders, says the first drag show she ever attended was thanks to the university.
“My first drag show I ever attended was Ohio University's drag show event last year, featuring Coco Montrese, and it was such an exhilarating and fun environment,” Meier said in an email. “Drag show performances have a little bit of something for everyone — the fashion, comedy, interaction with the audience, and the overall performance the Drag Queens put on. This is an event that you DO NOT want to miss!”
To be hosted in Baker Ballroom, this year’s show features another from “RuPaul’s Drag Race" Season 11 and "RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars" Season Six, Silky Nutmeg Ganache.
Like last year, various local drag entertainers will also accompany Ganache, including Kazma Knights, Gretta Goodbottom and Jada Fenix-Lorez. There will also be a photo opportunity for students at the end of the show.
Students are excited for the drag show, with many being fans of the hit television series.
“Yes, I am a huge fan of 'RuPaul's Drag Race,'” Ava Hamilton, a sophomore studying political science, said in an email. “I would still go to the show even if I hadn't been a fan of the series, however, the drag show being headlined by a former contestant certainly piqued my interest.”
Meier is also a fan of "RuPaul’s Drag Race," and can’t wait to see Ganache perform.
“The thrill and excitement that comes with performing or watching an amazing performance is truly an out-of-body experience,” Meier said in an email. “As an avid 'RuPaul's Drag Race' fan, I was over the moon when I found out Silky Nutmeg Ganache, the 'lip-sync assassin' would be coming to OU. I know she puts on a good show, and I cannot wait to watch her kill it in Athens!”
Richards also says the event will provide a place to make new friends and expose students to a diverse performative act.
“It's obviously targeted toward just hanging out and making friends, and a good way to kind of introduce that,” Richards said. “Also, I think it's a lot of people's first drag show, and something that a lot of people maybe never got the opportunity to do. I know a lot of people come from rural Ohio towns, and it's not something that's really anywhere near them, so when they see that it’s here, they're like, ‘Oh, I might as well go check it out.’”
Hamilton said that drag shows create a lively and loving environment for all students as well.
“It's amazing, having a space to go to that exudes love, support, and acceptance,” Hamilton said in an email. “Events such as this can provide an incredible sense of inclusivity and pride, so I highly recommend OU students attend a show at least once. You might surprise yourself with how much you enjoy it!”
The event is free for all students and runs from 7:00 to 9:30 p.m.