Drive-Thru Drag Show

From the view of their parked vehicles or socially distanced area, attendees watched the first Drive-Thru Drag Show: Halloween-Style sponsored by Marshall’s intercultural affairs and student affairs in the parking lot behind the Brad D. Smith Foundation Hall.  

The show provided free performances of eight guests and performance of the hostess, Tammy Faye Sinclair, who also hosted the 2020 Thunder on the Stage and Pride Galas.  

“When we look for performers, I always try to find a variety of people. Everyone has their own unique-ness,” Sinclair said. “I do a lot of comedy routines, but this is different from performing in clubs. . . talking about coronavirus will be more fitting.” 

Performers were dropped off by vehicles in front of the stage in order to follow Marshall University and Cabell County guidelines.  They then walked directly to the stage to perform with their rehearsed routines. 

With Halloween-style in mind, most performers wore a Halloween costume as well as some of the audience.  

Director of LGBTQ+ office, Shaunte Polk, said the idea was created when in-person programming was pushed in October and because she wanted to do something for LGBTQ+ history month.  

Polk said she wanted to use drag performer and season four winner of ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’, Sharon Needles, on the event promotion because “even though Sharon is not going to the event, she is that image of Halloween – that’s her style.” 

Tips were collected throughout the performances with physical change and a “tip menu” that allows the audience to send money through various online payment systems. 

“I hope people support the gals. Sometimes this is their primary source of income. . .they have been hustling by doing shows on YouTube and Facebook during the pandemic,” Sinclair said.  

As a part-time drag queen and full-time social worker, Lady Dior Gypsy said she used to perform 2-3 times a week, but due to “these past rough months” the Drive-Thru Drag Show has been her first public show since March besides live shows on Facebook.

The 2018 Marshall graduate said she was glad her first performance back was for Marshall University. 

“It is such an honor to do a show at Marshall. When I was a student there, we never actually had any shows, so it makes me feel good and appreciated that I am included in them,” Gypsy said.

Xena Bunton can be contacted at [email protected]