Polk County itemizer observer. (Dallas, Or) 1992-current, April 08, 2015, Image 7

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    Polk County
Polk County Itemizer-Observer • April 8, 2015 7A
Ty Lewis, as Persephone,
front left, and Cierra
Meyer, as Pandora, are two
of the leads in a cast of 60
dancers in Western Ore-
gon’s University Triangle
Alliance’s annual Drag
Show. This year, the theme
is “Out of Pandora’s Box,” a
retelling of the Greek tale
of the first woman. Now in
its 19th year, the show has
become a beloved tradi-
tion on campus. Tickets for
the show sold out in three
days, but those still want-
ing to see it can go to
Wednesday’s open dress
rehearsal. Tickets are avail-
able at the door for the 7
p.m. show.
JOLENE GUZMAN/Itemizer-Observer
WOU’s drag production a successful campus outreach effort
By Jolene Guzman
The Itemizer-Observer
contents of Pandora’s Box
have always been trouble.
Tell the classic tale in the
context of Western Oregon
University’s Triangle Al-
liance’s annual Drag Show,
and the chaos released is red
hot trouble.
Now in its 19th-year, the
racy, campy display that is
the Drag Show will be pro-
ducing “Out of Pandora’s
Box,” a retelling of the Greek
story of the first woman,
Pandora, on Wednesday
(tonight) and Thursday.
Combining elements of a
traditional musical — the
show has six choreographers
and 60 dancers — and the
risqué personality of a drag
show (this is definitely PG-
13 material), the show is
nothing if not entertaining.
Some even classify it as
the “biggest show that hap-
pens on campus every year.”
Tickets sales seem to back
that up, with seats to Thurs-
day’s show selling out in
three days. Those still want-
ing to see the show will have
to arrive early for Wednes-
day’s dress rehearsal, where
tickets will be sold at the
door for the 7 p.m. show.
Triangle Alliance is WOU’s
gay-straight alliance, and
the show is a form of out-
reach on campus, which has
JOLENE GUZMAN/ Itemizer-Observer
Ty Lewis, left, leads a dance during a scene from “Out of Pandora’s Box,” Triangle Al-
liance’s popular annual drag show. Lewis has been involved in the show for three years.
proved successful. In the
years since it began, the
gender-bending spectacle
has grown into something
students look forward to
each year.
“It’s a WOU tradition
that’s been supported by the
faculty and staff,” said Drag
Show advisor Joe Hahn.
Hahn, director Yumi Kom
and stage director Gabbi
Boyle, make up the “Tri-
force,” the leaders behind
the show. And it is a full-
scale production, taking
nearly a year to stage. Hahn
said just weeks after “Out of
Pandora’s Box” ends, work
will begin on next year’s ex-
Choreographers have
been working the dances in
the current show — set to
pop music — since August.
Auditions took place in Jan-
uary, and the cast has been
in hours upon hours of re-
hearsal over the last two
Kristen Case, a sopho-
more and “newbie” to the
show, says it’s all worth it.
“It’s more of a production
… (drag shows) are usually
just about the queens, and
they are just lip syncing and
it’s all about their personali-
ty,” Case said. “Here we have
a story and a lot of dancing.
It’s really unique. I’ve never
really experienced anything
like it.”
Case said she was in-
spired to join the show after
seeing last year’s production
as a freshman and getting
involved with the Triangle
Alliance this year.
“I decided to try some-
thing new. Everybody really
encouraged me to do it,” she
said. “I haven’t done any-
thing like it before. I thought
it was a really good chance
to stretch myself and grow
and challenge myself.”
Case was cast in the cho-
rus, but doesn’t mind taking
on the smaller role.
“I don’t honestly think I’m
very good at the dancing,
but it’s just so much fun,”
she said. “I’ve gotten a lot
better than when I first start-
ed. It’s fun to dance around
on stage and have every-
body scream at you.”
In the midst of all the
dancing and screaming, the
show retells the story of Pan-
dora and her infamous box
of chaos. Hades — the god
of the underworld played by
Marika Hatos — is scheming
to use that power to destroy
the Earth and sends his wife,
Persephone, to kill Pandora.
But events don’t go accord-
ing to Hades’ plan once
Persephone meets Pandora.
Ty Lewis, who plays
Persephone, said the popu-
larity and fun-loving nature
of the show makes it a per-
fect form of outreach.
“This is probably the
biggest show that happens
on campus every year be-
cause it happens for one
night only,” he said. “It’s
such a big campus event. It’s
such a good opportunity to
educate people about the
LGBTQ community.”
This is Lewis’s third year
involved in the show and
second year as a performer.
Last year he took a break
from dancing, but just
couldn’t say away from the
stage when this year’s show
kicked off.
“After last year, I missed it
so much I decided I had to
come back and try out for a
lead,” Tyler said.
Likewise, the audience
can’t seem to get enough.
Case understands why.
“Because it’s racy — and
because it’s so much fun,”
Case said. “I remember
when I went, it was like sen-
sory overload. There was
this music that I knew, so I
could sing along, and there
were people screaming all
around me and there were
beautiful people on stage. I
was like ‘Is that a man or a
woman? What’s happening?’
Everybody is dancing. It’s
like an experience.
“That’s why I think people
go to it, because it’s so mem-
(Drag) Showtime!
• Tickets to Wednesday’s (tonight’s) dress rehearsal at 7 will be on sale at the door at West-
ern Oregon University’s Rice Auditorium for $3. Go early if you want to get a seat.
JOLENE GUZMAN/Itemizer-Observer
Marika Hatos as Hades, Persephone’s
husband, schemes to destroy the
world in “Out of Pandora’s Box.”
JOLENE GUZMAN/Itemizer-Observer
JOLENE GUZMAN/ Itemizer-Observer
The Drag Show has a cast of 60 dancers who audition for parts in January. The show is
a year-long effort, beginning each spring after the one- or two-night run is over.
Evelyn Garcia, as ferryman to the under-
world, Charon dances during a scene, which
uses pop music to tell the story.