Drag Ball, Alumnus Play Highlight LGBT Awareness

Drag Ball is in its 18th year; Play is part of the BRIEFS Festival

ST. LOUIS (March 17, 2014) - For the 18th year in a row, men at Webster University will put on their finest stockings, dresses and high-heeled shoes while women will wear tuxedos, ties and dress shoes for one of the biggest college events of the year – the annual Drag Ball.

The LGBTQ Alliance event starts at 7:30 p.m. March 22 in Grant’s Gym on Webster University’s home campus. It’s free, but donations are accepted to help support the nearly two-decades-old event.

It’s one of two LGBTQ events happening at the end of March that involve Webster. The day before the ball, a play written by Webster alumnus Don Miller will be performed as part of the “BRIEFS” Festival in downtown St. Louis on March 21.

The Drag Ball is the longest-running LGBTQ event at Webster University and one of the oldest annual Drag Balls in the St. Louis region.

“The Drag Ball allows Webster students from around the world to see a drag supershow while celebrating acceptance and equality,” said Lana Williams, the vice president of Webster University’s LGBTQ Alliance. “Drag Ball is just a celebration of life, music, glitter and love. It’s a night of love and fun and we want everyone to leave in a great mood.”

This year, the event will feature two hosts - one drag queen and one drag king. The show will feature amateur drag performers from the region, as well as Webster students. During the show, prizes will be given to audience members for “best dressed.”

The Drag Ball concept is not new to the St. Louis area. The first such area event was held at Washington University in 1992 and has been adapted by many colleges and universities in the region; however, it is believed that Webster University’s Drag Ball is the second oldest in St. Louis and the longest running annual ball.

The day before the ball, the Third Annual Festival of Short LGBT Plays will feature a play written by Don Miller, a Webster alumnus who is an adjunct faculty member and a writing specialist in the Academic Resource Center’s Writing Center at Webster. The play, “Strange Bedfellows,” is Miller’s first. The plays performed at the BRIEFS Festival were selected from playwrights nationwide.  

The BRIEFS Festival, to be held March 21-23 at the La Perla event center in downtown St. Louis, is a community event, bringing together a diverse audience from the LGBT community, straight allies, and local businesses and artists. The festival’s co-producer Joan Lipkin – another Webster alumni who is now artistic director of That Uppity Theatre Company – says the short-play format in BRIEFS provides productive opportunities for the multiple perspectives of several directors and playwrights and for the pieces to speak in relation to each other.

Miller, Lipkin and actor/director/dramaturg Christopher Limber will be featured on KWMU-FM’s “Cityscape” program on Friday, March 14, to discuss the BRIEFS Festival and its importance to the community. “We also will discuss the creative process and how Joan and Christopher worked closely with me to take an interesting premise with some ‘rough edges’ and flesh it out into an interesting and engaging one-act play,” Miller said.

For additional information, go to: http://events.stltoday.com/st_louis_mo/events/show/369779566-briefs-a-festival-of-short-lgbt-plays#dates_and_times.

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