Calling all drag queens for 3rd Annual Common Ground Drag Show

Tangerine+Summers+comes+down+from+the+stage+to+interact+with+the+audience+at+last+year%27s+Common+Ground+drag+performance.+%22A+lot+of+people+don%E2%80%99t+know%2C+that+years+ago+when+ya%E2%80%99ll+was+doing+the+Cherry+Blossom+festival%2C+I+was+Miss+Cherry+Blossom%2C%22+Summers+said.+%22There+was+some+conflict+about+it%2C+but+they+had+taken+my+money%E2%80%A6+My+mom+called+me%2C+she+said+%E2%80%98Boy%2C+do+you+know+what+you+done+did%3F%E2%80%99+It+was+on+the+front+page%2C+but+we+had+to+be+hush%2C+hush+because+drag+wasn%E2%80%99t+as+open+as+it+is+now.+Only+time+we+could+drag+was+during+Cherry+Blossom+and+Halloween.%22

Marianna Bacallao

Tangerine Summers comes down from the stage to interact with the audience at last year's Common Ground drag performance. "A lot of people don’t know, that years ago when ya’ll was doing the Cherry Blossom festival, I was Miss Cherry Blossom," Summers said. "There was some conflict about it, but they had taken my money… My mom called me, she said ‘Boy, do you know what you done did?’ It was on the front page, but we had to be hush, hush because drag wasn’t as open as it is now. Only time we could drag was during Cherry Blossom and Halloween."

Common Ground, Mercer’s LGBTQ+ and ally organization, is currently planning their third annual drag show. 

The president of the group, McPherson Newell, said he is hopeful for another great year.

“Last year was our first year having it on campus, and we had six student performers, variety of years and majors and all that,” he said. “We had a really great turnout. Definitely over 200 people.”

Each year, the proceeds are donated to a local LGBTQ+ charity. The HOPE Center, a Macon HIV/AIDS clinic, was the charity of choice last year. The event raised $300, but Newell said they are aiming higher this time with a goal of $500.

Tangerine Summers, who has been involved in the drag scene since the late 1970s, was the featured performer last year. 

This year, the León Sisters, a Georgia drag queen group, will perform. 

Common Ground has opened a call for Mercer students to serve as volunteers or performers. Newell said that everyone is welcome, especially first-timers. 

“Even if you don’t really know what you’re doing, or you’re not sure what kind of routine you might want to do, or how you could help as a volunteer, we have a space for you,” he said.

Student performers in the show are expected to take the event seriously. Performers are held to strict standards. Newell said student performers in the past, despite being amateurs, “are professionals in the sense of behavior and dedication.”

Those interested in performing or volunteering need to fill out a form that can be found on the group’s Facebook page or Bear Blurbs. Applications close on Feb. 29.

The show will take place on April 3 at 7 p.m. in the Tattnall Square Center for the Arts. Tickets are $5. 

Common Ground is Mercer’s LGBTQ+ and ally organization. Meetings are Tuesdays from 6 to 7 p.m. in Knight Hall room 101. Meetings are centered around discussion, education and community support, as well as opportunities for members to share their experiences. 

For more information, contact Common Ground at [email protected].