Tag: Drag Queen

Here’s a list of projects where I was in drag, involved drag, or academics involving drag.

  • I am a Designer!

    I never really set out to be a designer, but once I started making costumes and props for shows, I just couldn’t stop. I use as much of my technical background as possible when it comes to being a designer. I love using technology to solve problems and create automated processes. Below are some pictures of the variety of things I have designed. Also, check out Amanda Playwythe to see the clothing I design making sure to be inclusive for plus sized men!

  • Wig Styling

    Over the course of my time as a drag queen as well as working in theatre, I learned how to style and maintain wigs. Here’s pics from a few different projects compiled here!

  • Amanda Playwythe

    Amanda Playwythe

    At an event called “Prom Trash” Amanda was born.

    I went to my first Dumpsta Players show in the spring of 2003. My friend was dating someone in the cast. He said it was Prom and to dress up, so I did. I wore a tail coat and a top hat, leftover from my goth days, and threw on a purple marabou boa as a finishing touch. I had no idea what I was about to experience. This was a show unlike anything else I’d seen. Drag Queens, Drag Kings, and a variety of other strange characters, in a semi-scripted show with lip synced musical numbers culminating in the crowning of the Prom Trash Queen. I had dressed up so when they asked who wanted to compete, I lined up to go on stage. I didn’t make it past the first round. My look was outrageous enough and showing up in full drag was a guaranteed pleaser.

    Over the next year, I went to every show as I hatched a plan to win. But, first I had to lose. Yup, my first time I lost. I chose to play a Dominatrix with a strap on, my nod to Gen, the lead singer of the Genitorturers, but somehow, I wasn’t trashy enough!

    The following year, Amanda Playwythe was born. This year, the look was blonde hair wearing all Pink except for a black pleather mini skirt. I hadn’t even settled on a name when I arrived at the show. I wanted something with a pun and I always appreciated the joke from the Simpsons where Bart calls Moe’s asking for Amanda Hugginkiss. Well, when it was time to actually go on stage at the beginning of the competition, I just blurted out Amanda Playwith, but when I wrote it on my name tag, I was determined to make it different somehow so I adopted the Olde English Spelling that I still use today, Playwythe!

    For the rest of the night, I gave way to the character and committed myself to the idea that Amanda would have absolutely no idea what was going on around her and her trashiness overwhelmed the audience. I won the following year as Amanda as well.

    When the Dumpsta Players put on “Prom Trash Under the Sea,” I adopted a whole new Character with another pun for a name, MC Urchin, get it Sea Urchin?? But she was a rapper, hence the MC. So, I wrote little rhyming phrases and tried to use them as much as possible. I totally had a folded up piece of paper in my bra cause I did them so last minute I never memorized them. But, I must have been memorable, because I won.

    The last time I won was when we did a musical inspired Prom Trash, I came as Drag Ursula from the Little Mermaid. Oh, those poor unfortunate contestants didn’t stand a chance, mwahahahaha!

    All in all, I spent 12 years performing with the Dumpsta Players. I learned a ton about queer culture, music, and artists from a time when those ideas were less than main stream. I also learned that there’s a lot to be said about commitment. Commitment to character and being in the moment and how sometimes that’s enough to propel you over the top. I maintained that level of commitment to my work and continue to embrace drag and perform as Amanda Playwythe when possible.

    The Dumpsta Players’ live performances sadly came to an end in 2016. However, in addition to performing as Amanda as much as I am able, I started a clothing label using her name. The ads write themselves; get yourself Amanda Playwythe today! I realized there was a serious lack of options for plus size men when it came to underwear and swimwear. I put the very same sewing skill that got me making fun outfits for Amanda, to the test and learned how to design ready to wear clothing.

    You can check out my shop here!

  • Into the Woods

    In summer of 2013 I auditioned for a new community theatre, Avenue Theatre Company, for their production of “Into the Woods” my all time favorite Stephen Sondheim musical. Well, my all time favorite musical, period. This particular staging was designed to be dreamlike and use a child’s bedroom as the set. This way, we relied on the audience to use their childlike imagination to build the complicated sets in the woods, using a ladder and a feather boa to represent Rapunzel in her tower, for example. I was cast as the Wolf in Act I and then double cast as a drag Step-sister. This show is a blast and has many layers to it’s sophisticated story, that’s really for kids at all.

    This is one of the three Sondheim shows I have been able to learn and participate in. The first being “Gypsy” where Sondheim is only the lyricist, yet still gives us the some unforgettable ditties. The other show was Villanova Theatre‘s production of “Merrily We Roll Along” which was ultimately cancelled as a result of the pandemic in 2020. We were returning to the theatre the next day to start tech weekend when the lockdown began.

  • Without A Cue Productions

    I was introduced to Without a Cue by a board member at Beacon Theatre Productions where I had performed in Freud’s Last Session. She had needed a last minute replacement for the role of Jacques in a touring production of “Murder at the Moulin Bleu.” It was so much fun that I asked to be included in the next round of auditions.

    In the fall of 2018, I was cast in three shows with Without a Cue Productions, their Bewitched, Harry Potter, and Charles Dickens parody murder mystery dinner shows. In the Bewitched show, I played Uncle Arthur, inspired by the performance of Paul Lynde! It turns out I have a wonderful Paul Lynde impression! Next, I played professor “O’Donnegal” in their Harry Potter parody show, “Henry Planter,” names changed for copyright reasons. Lastly, I played Tiny Tim, and Sherlock Holmes in “A Dickens of a Murder.”

    Below are just a few pics of my time with Without a Cue! To find out more about Without a Cue check out their website, here! They’ve just recently gotten a new venue and have increased the number of shows available.

  • Christmas 2012

    Christmas 2012

    Around Christmas of 2012 I released a music video for a song that I just loved by Princess Superstar, an NYC based rapper. I had enjoyed her clever wordsmithing in the past and this particular track told a story that I though needed to be told. Armed with a variety of costumes, makeup, and wigs, I went to task. The accompanying image shows the aftermath of all the props and costumes in a pile in front of a green screen! I play all the parts and took nearly 100 hours to edit out the green screen and composite all the layers. Take a look below! Also, below the music video is the making of video.

    I Hope I Sell a Lot of Records at Christmastime by Princess Superstar

    Outtakes and fun!

  • Ursula and Ariel Interview

    Here’s a really rough version of a sketch I wrote from my Solo Performance class at Villanova University. It’s a bit different than the typical Solo Performance piece since it’s on video, which is, of course, as a result of the pandemic.

    I chose an interview style cutting back and forth between two highly recongnizeable characters, Ariel and Ursula from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.” This short comedic sketch throws a dose of reality into the interactions between this famous pair. Oh, and I have a beard that I kept the whole time. Check it out below!

  • Philly Fringe 2008-2010

    The Philly Fringe festival has always been an exciting time in Philadelphia. When it started, the festival brought underground, unknown, and often queer, entertainment to the city. It was a wonderful, accessible way to see a ton of diverse performances in a short amount of time. Each night also culminated in a Cabaret where folks could meet and network. I was lucky enough to be involved in the set design and sound creation for a show in 2008, “Waiting for the Show” written by Terence Diamond. Go here to see more of his work and below are a few picture I snapped at the time.

    The following year, along with my partner at the time, we came up with our own original show, a parody of the Philadelphia morning news called, “Wake Up Philadelphia!” Check out the playlist below for clips.

    “Wake Up Philadelphia!” entire show!

    With the mild success of “Wake Up Philadelphia!” we decided to return the following year, even bigger and better with “Now Showing” a comedic mystery story about working in a movie theatre in the 90’s. Check out the playlist below for clips..

    Scenes from “Now Showing”
  • My Many Looks

    My Many Looks

    Here’s a video I made a few years ago with my many looks. I pride myself on being a character actor and being able to change my look with ease. Check out this video to see what I can do!

  • The Bald Soprano D-File

    The Bald Soprano D-File

    In Dramaturgy class at Villanova, we were asked to select a play for a full dramaturgical analysis that culminated in the creation of a website with all the pertinent information, research and articles about that play. I chose “The Bald Soprano” by Eugene Ionesco. I had read “La Cantatrice chauve” in French class when I was in high school, but absolutely did not understand its meaning. It just became a fun set of phrases and bits we learned in French that became a sort of inside joke between us French students. I memorized the line, “oh mon petit poulet roti, pourquoi creches tu du feu?” (pardon the lack of accents) which means, “oh my little roasted chicken, why are you spitting fire?” a perfectly respectable line of dialogue for the theatre of the absurd. Take a look at my deep dive by going here and viewing the entire D-File Website.