Baltimore Drag University will be an intensive workshop series for high school-aged students in the urban Baltimore area. This opportunity will connect young creatives with each other and professionals, build confidence, foster queer community, and create the next generation of drag superstars!
Structured like the reality TV shows "RuPaul’s Drag Race" and "RuPaul’s Drag U," students will partake in challenges that will test their charisma, uniqueness, nerve and talent, and favor resourcefulness and creativity over appearances or beauty. In fact, Baltimore Drag University will not focus on drag as female impersonation, but as a way for anyone to develop an over-the-top persona they can use to express whatever they want!
This project will invite different arts professionals, artists, designers and performers to give specific tutorials and lectures about their skills. The students will then have a subsequent challenge to test the skills they just learned. All of these challenges will test the students’ ability to express their personality and individuality, but with the use of necessary life skills such as working with limited time and budget, and the use of unconventional materials. For instance, a tutorial on character building through theatrical/drag makeup might be followed with a challenge to create an amazing makeup look in a dark room with no mirrors while ghost sound effects and fog fill the air. Although challenges, games and performances will have panels of fabulous guest judges giving suggestions and critiques, nobody loses at Baltimore Drag University.
At the end of the workshop series, students will debut their new persona at a final showcase for the public. The whole process will be extensively documented in a reality show-style documentary video. While the documents of this project have the potential to be really great, the most potentially significant product of Baltimore Drag University is the connections created between those involved. Introducing motivated creative youth to creative professionals, mentors and EACH OTHER creates infinite possibilities for the future of the first graduating class of Baltimore Drag University!!!