“Don’t be a drag, just be a queen!” Lady Gaga’s lyrics captured the spirit at Oglethorpe’s annual Charity Drag Show this past week. OU students, faculty, and staff packed the Conant Performing Arts Center to enjoy drag performances and raise money for a great cause.
The show was held to support CHRIS Kids, a nonprofit organization with a program dedicated to aiding homeless and fostered youth who have identified themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgendered, or questionable. According to national statistics, about 56% of homeless teens identify themselves as LGBT, and CHRIS kids serves to help them transition into a self-sufficient adulthood. CHRIS is an acronym for Creativity, Honor, Respect, Integrity, and Safety, which are all values the OU community strives to uphold as well. Put on by Oglethorpe student organization, OUtlet, the drag show successfully raised $1,167.
Dr. Nardo (pictured), a math professor here at OU, sang the opening number of the night, “Don’t Cry for Me, Argentina,” in drag to show that math and science folks have a creative side, too. Dr. Nardo’s debut as ‘Evita’ was the reward to an incentive he proposed to OUtlet last year—to double the amount they raised for CHRIS Kids. Nardo was well prepared for his performance thanks to the support he received from OU’s Music Department, including voice lessons with Mary Anne Hill and piano accompaniment by Dr. Brent Runnels. Nardo’s full-on makeup and styling were compliments of colleague Dr. Cassandra Copeland, and his introduction came from Spanish professor Dr. Viviana Plotnik, with whom Nardo had taught an honors seminar this past fall called Representations of Peron and Guevara in Literature & Film.
“For me, it was great to see support for the charity come from community members who reside at various places in the political spectrum,” said Dr. Nardo.
The drag show was certainly a fun, entertaining way to give unified support to a well deserving organization. Even if you had to miss the show, it’s not too late to give! Donations are still being accepted in the form of cash or check and 100% of proceeds will go to CHRIS Kids. If you’re interested in making a contribution, contact Dr. Nardo at 404-364-8327 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about their cause, visit www.chriskids.org.