Fierce and fun: Drag and Drop throws inaugural drag show to celebrate queer joy


Saturday, Nov. 11, the newly formed Drag and Drop club hosted its inaugural drag show, “Drag Through the Decades.” Held in Washington Hall, the event featured acts themed around different periods of time. Performance themes included styles from the Gilded Age, a 1950’s housewife, a futuristic robot and many more. All money raised during the performance went towards the group to be used for future shows, workshops and costume pieces for members.

Drag and Drop is relatively new to the College of William and Mary, having only been recognized as an official group during the spring 2022 semester. The drag performance group was started as a way to help students at the College experiment with the art of drag. 

There weren’t many resources to help us start doing drag, and we quickly realized that it costs money to get costume pieces and makeup and to learn to do all these things,” club President Sebastion Cannito ’25 said. “We decided that we wanted to start a club based on the tenets of inclusivity and accessibility with the queer performance arts because experimenting with gender is something that’s brought us a lot of joy, and so we want to make that available to other people.”

This sentiment was one expressed by many other members in the club, who claimed that making the art form more accessible was one of the cornerstones of the organization.

“It’s a club to explore the art of drag, but the core tenet of it is really the idea that anyone can do drag, regardless of sexuality, gender, race, disability,” Drag and Drop Vice President Alex Cooper ’25 said. “We wanted to make sure it was a space for male drag kings, female drag queens, trans people, people of color — just people of any identity to be able to explore the art of drag without limits or barriers.”

Having amassed a group of interested performers during the earlier part of this year, the club has been working towards putting on this first show for the better part of the semester. The group chose the “Drag Through the Decades” theme by a popular vote from the performers. 

“It started originally as just decades being a popular theme,” Cannito said. “I think it’s definitely become a lot more than that, and I think that’s what we wanted to see. We want to see our themes being taken by our performers and transformed.”

This freedom of creativity was evident in the wide variety of performances featured during the show, with performers taking on the persona of characters ranging from a pink-skinned alien to Karl Marx. The energy and passion of the performers was tangible, seen in their smiling faces and confident demeanors, though for many this was one of their first performances. 

“We’re a ‘no-experience-required’ group,” Cannito said. “We don’t even hold auditions because we just want to help people put on a performance. And part of it is learning how to do drag.”

The high-energy atmosphere of the room made it clear that the audience was just as passionate about the show as the performers. Spectators spent the night supporting the performers by showering them in dollar bills as tips and cheering the performers on in their acts in love and support of not just the Drag and Drop club, but the art form as well. 

“Drag is cool,” attendee Nina Babb ’23 said. “Go to drag shows. Support it, do it, be it.”

Cannito and Cooper emphasized their desire to help their members realize their dreams of performing in a drag show. 

“I think one of my first priorities here is making sure that people have a good time because I don’t want it to be a grind, and I want people to have fun exploring and expressing themselves,” Cannito said. “I think that element of queer joy is really what I’m looking for with putting on this show. We have these performers who have been working towards this show, and I don’t want to let them down because I know they put a lot of work into it.”

However, another critical aspect of the show to the organization was not just the performance by itself, but supporting drag during a time where it is at the center of many debates and controversies. For Cooper, a high priority was making “Drag Through the Decades” a safe space for all involved.

“Especially in today’s political climate, how do we pull something like this off and make sure it’s safe for everyone? So we’ve been implementing consent forms and talking about the history of drag, making sure that everyone’s educated and just helping to strengthen community between each member, making sure that we’re all looking out for each other. And that’s something that I think is really important in a time when drag is under attack,” Cooper said.

In their speech to close out the show, Cooper and Cannito urged anyone interested to get involved with Drag and Drop and the drag community, citing the inclusivity they say the organization strives for. 

“I want the performers and the audience to know that they are welcome here and that they have a home here,” Cooper said. “And I want that to be something that we can continue through the club’s legacy after we graduate.”  


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