Not Just an Enhanced Movie Experience, But a Celebration of Queer Culture
by Joey Phoenix
Queer culture is not just alive and well on the North Shore, but celebrated, and that’s something to be excited about.
The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert (1994) is coming to the Cabot Theatre in Beverly, MA on Friday, May 3rd as an Enhanced Movie Experience – a collaboration between the theatre, Creative Collective, Retonica, and Intramersive that not only brings the films shown to life but makes the guests a part of the experience.
The event headliner is New York City Drag Queen Miz Diamond Wigfall (Instagram: @mizdiamondwigfall) who’s originally from Salem, MA, where she attended the Gene Murray School of Dance before studying musical theatre at Boston Conservatory.
“Growing up in musical theatre you have to fit a certain mold,” Miz Diamond explains, “There are certain types of actors that they want you to be in order to be hired, and I never exactly fit. Then when I found Drag it was like I was finally able to express what was inside of me all of the time.”
“Drag has always celebrated and elevated beauty as an expression of who you are without concerns for conformity and it has always done so with humor, satire, artistry and incredible craftsmanship,” says Creative Collective director of Interactive Affairs Carly Naik. “I think Drag represents our popular culture rejecting generations deep beliefs that beauty only exists in a limited frame and that frame is decided by the elite.”
Priscilla has always been a cult classic staple for the international queer community, and although the community has embraced queer culture now in a way that was only dreamt of in 1994, the film continues to inspire young transgender and queer individuals all over the world who are struggling for inclusion and representation in their families and in their communities.
“Priscilla shows the heart of the queer community, about creating your own family and the struggles that people are still going through today,” says Miz Diamond.
“We’re lucky to have a film like this because it has inspired so many Queens and so many other people [in the community] to be themselves.”
In addition to the film screening, the event will host a Drag Show featuring Queens from New York City, Boston, and the North Shore, a Photobooth, and opportunities to interact with the Queens and other local LGBTQ+ organizations from Boston and the North Shore including Project Out – an organization which provides support and financial assistance to transgender and gender non-binary individuals to access life-saving gender-affirming services & products that allow for authentic living – and The Rainbow Times, New England’s largest LGBTQ newspaper.
“I’m so excited to be celebrating the local queer community,” Miz Diamond says. “My goal as a performer here has always been to celebrate what is here, not just what we see on TV or in movies, but the real people who are living this life and that deserves to be seen.” I
“I think Priscilla is a great way to remember that Pride isn’t just for a month,” Naik adds, “and that by celebrating people’s right to be themselves makes us all stronger, happier and more colorful. Activism and advocacy can be hard but it can also be joyful, funny, and fabulous.”
Joey Phoenix is a performance artist and the Managing Editor of Creative North Shore. Follow them on Twitter @jphoenixmedia. If you have an idea for a story, feature, or pictures of adorable llamas, feel free to send them a message at firstname.lastname@example.org