New Haven Drag
NOTE: This interview was recorded live on WNHH Community Radio. You can watch the facebook live version here.
"Drag art fills a space with a sort of disorientation and suspended disbelief. It becomes as if something miraculous is occurring and the whole scale of normal shifts to include a vastly more diverse range of experiences and variety." - Daniele Eugene
#NHVDrag is a growing community of drag artists and collaborators expanding the notion of what drag can be, using art to push boundaries and build community, well beyond the midnight club scene. In this time of expanding expressions of hatred towards anyone outside the cis gendered white male norm, these artists are not hiding in the shadows, they are strutting into the light of day letting themselves be seen and welcomed by whole new audiences.
On this episode of The Table Underground, I invited members of the New Haven drag community to reflect on how their work and art manifest the principals of radical love and creative social justice on a personal or communal level. Artists, and partners, Daniel Eugene (photographer) and Luis Antonio (choreographer) have been collaborating with the New Haven, CT drag community to produce and support numerous events and shows, a new hashtag and Daniel's new photo book #NHVDrag. Kevin Martino aka Sylvia Heart speaks about her experience and perspectives as a Drag Queen and artist. All three artists reflect on how the local drag community is evolving, new collaborations, existing divisions and how the past and current political climate impacts their lives and work.
During Pride month this year, the Arts Paper's fabulous new daily news site did "Queen of the Week" profiles on a number of fabulous people within this community. Check out these great profiles of Tiana Maxim Rose, Robin Banks, and Malaya Love Nations.
City Wide Open Studios
In early October of this year, Daniel and Luis hosted a day time Drag show as part of City Wide Open Studios in the Westville neighborhood of New Haven, CT. People young and old joined to celebrate the artistry, boundary pushing, fabulousness of it all. The Drag Queens in this show embraced people of different ages, cultures, races, gender identities and musical tastes. Selena (pictured above) leapt beyond the Broadway music often associated with drag communities, to perform to the pop/hip hop song "milkshake", while actually making and serving up a milkshake. Check out these fabulous photos (by Daniel Eugene) of this open studios event.
#NHVdrag The Book
"Drag performance creates an atmosphere of sexual and gender iconoclasm of puritanism that has affected our fundamental human being since the invention of original sin. It creates an experience in which we become vastly expanded into unknown but deeply felt possibilities whereat we may be liberated to evolve into greater fulfillment of our uncharted biological identities." - Daniel Eugene (pictured at left above with copies of his new book, #NHVdrag)
Earlier this year Daniel found himself at a drag show with his camera in hand, and the creative journey began that lead to the release of this volume #1 limited edition printing of #NHVdrag in September 2017. Daniel speaks in more detail about the book in our interview. Below are a few of the photos included in the book. You can purchase a signed copy at the fun and super unique gift shop Strange Ways on Whalley Ave in Westville or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Upcoming Shows & Events
ROBIN BANKS: Fully Loaded
Celebrating drag queen Robin Banks performing for 10 years in New Haven.
October 20th, 7:30pm
Annex YMA Club, 554 Woodward Ave, New Haven, CT
Death Becomes Him, Presented by Summer Orlando
A drag stage show parody based on the movie Death Becomes Her
Final performance October 20th at 10 pm
Trevi Lounge in Fairfield, CT Discounted online tickets HERE, $15 and $20 at the door.
The Boozy Barbra Broadway Brunch
Hosted by Summer Orlando, featuring Barbara Streisand impersonator, live singing, Drag Queens, dancing, mimosas and bloody mary's
Premiering October 22nd, 7pm
Monthly show every 3rd Sunday of the Month*
168 York Street Cafe in New Haven CT Tickets Here
* New 1st Sunday of the month show at Trevi Lounge in Fairfield, CT
Do you have the inside scoop on other great events and artistic endeavors to build and improve community? Please comment below!