Drag Variety Extravaganza
An angelic performer used wings to dramatic effect during the Drag Variety Extravaganza April 22 in Norman, Okla. (Doug Hill)

Drag culture exhibits its own traditions and expectations of both performers and spectators. There’s a camaraderie among the performers that encourages sharing appearance and performance advice.

That camaraderie was on display during Drag Variety Extravaganza, hosted by transgender drag queen Marlene Schiedich and Norman drag troupe Haus Down Productions.

The audience response for the extravaganza was enthusiastic. Paper-money tips were forthcoming for performers, as is the custom.

Schiedich, which is the transgender drag-queen persona of Individual Artists of Oklahoma executive director Laurence Myers Reese, staged the Extravaganza on April 22 at Resonator Arts Space in Norman. The live performance was recorded to video as part of a documentary about “queer identity in pop culture,” according to a press release for the event.

Reese will screen the finished documentary during Oklahoma Visual Arts Coalition’s Momentum film and new media festival May 19 to 20 in Ada, Oklahoma. Famed (and infamous) director John Waters is slated to be the featured guest speaker.

Doug Hill earned a double-major undergraduate degree in English and East Asian Studies from the University of Kansas and a master's in human relations from the University of Oklahoma. He's been a freelance journalist and photographer in central Oklahoma since 1997.