Drag Performance: Between & Beyond Gender

Drag Performance: Between & Beyond Gender (In Person)

Applications for the Spring 2024 cycle of Drag Performance are now closed.

When: Tuesday nights from March 5, 2024 through May 11, 2024 at BAX from 6:30-8:45pm

Please Note: The first class begins Tuesday, March 5th, from 6:30-8:45pm and will be held virtually on Zoom. All following classes will be held at BAX at 421 5th Ave, Brooklyn NY 11215.

Class dates : March 5* (held virtually), 12, 19, 26; April 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; May 6* (extra class), 7 
Tech week: May 8-11
Culminating Show: May 11, 2024

Facilitated by: Theydy Bedbug (aka Kelindah bee Schuster) and guest teachers, Timothy Westbrook (as seen on Project Runway) and Miz Jade

This class focuses on developing drag characters that expand what it means to be a drag queen, king, thing, in between or beyond what we’ve seen. Through group games, writing prompts and discussion, solo and collaborative movement exercises, we give ourselves permission to express the full range of who we are and can be while releasing narratives about how we “should” move, express, or dress based on gender norms we’ve inherited. We experiment with the tools of pantomime, clowning, lip sync, caricature, structured improv and intuitive movement to build towards in-process drag performance acts. While this class is focused primarily on performance skills, we touch upon what goes into making a drag act including: makeup, costumes, creating a musical track, movement choreography and technical production choices.

*All in person events will follow up-to-date City and CDC COVID-safety recommendations.

Kelindah Schuster (they/them) is a nonbinary educator and drag performance artist known as “Theydy Bedbug” who grew up in Singapore and Indonesia. They studied Drama and Gender studies at Vassar College and have been teaching, technical directing, and creating art at BAX since 2015. As their performance persona, they have performed and produced in venues such as Pioneer Works, Gibney Dance, Dixon Place, Triskelion Arts, Coney Island USA, The Stonewall Inn, UCB, Chelsea Music Hall, The Tank, BAM, VICE Headquarters, Columbia University, National Sawdust, and The Knockdown Center. Their teaching makes space for problem-solving societal dilemmas, imagining new possibilities, and expressing differences with joyful authenticity. They believe that access to spaces of genderful play in performance and creation is a step toward collective liberation. www.kelindahbee.art

Guest Teachers:

Timothy Westbrook, Spring 24 Drag Guest Artist
Timothy Westbrook (he/him), as seen on Project Runway, is a fashion designer working in social and environmental advocacy. In addition to his Vogue features, Timothy has worked with Trixie Mattel, Jaida Essence Hall, and the Dragon Sisters. Timothy makes all of his clothing out of repurposed materials. Abandoned umbrellas become coats. Disposable contact lens cases become moto jackets. Antiquated audio cassette tape gets woven into chic evening gowns, like the one he made for Boston Mayor Michelle Wu for her appearance at the Earthshot Prize gala.
Miz Jade headshot, Spring 24 Drag Guest Artist

Miz Jade (she/her) is a Black, trans, queer drag performer, event host, and professional dancer. Known for her teaching, activism, and quick wit, she’s bound to gag you and turn the party. Miz Jade has been described as fierce, sensual, sophisticated, and full of surprises.  Miz Jade works with Drag Story Hour NYC, which fosters children’s imagination while providing glamorous, positive, and unabashedly queer role models. She is extremely proud of her involvement with DSH NYC, as she is passionate about the program’s message of acceptance and inclusivity. She is also the face of a national campaign called ‘The Real Ms Information’. A collaborative effort with GMHC and FCB Health to motivate and educate LGBTQ+ people on the importance of being covid vaccinated. Miz Jade has been nominated for ‘Best Dance Performer’ at the Glam Awards. She was also nominated for ‘Queen Of The Year’ and ‘Best Performer’ at the Brooklyn Nightlife Awards.

Common Questions

Q: What is the cost?

A: At cost: $450 for 10 weeks of class, including special guest facilitators, 2 hours of free rehearsal space at BAX, professional performance photos and video, an archive of digital resources and drag tutorials.

If you are able to pay slightly higher than the at cost fee, you will enable someone else to take the class who may otherwise not be able to.

If you need a reduced fee, you will have the opportunity to request financial aid in the application.

Q: Will we be learning drag makeup skills?

A: This class is focused on drag performance, developing a character, and producing a 3-5 minute act. We will touch on makeup and costume as it relates to character expression but we will not delve in-depth into makeup techniques beyond general recommendations.

Q: What are some of the access considerations?

A: The classes starting March 12 will take place at the BAX building which is currently not ADA accessible. Any artist who would like to participate in the class but for whom the inaccessibility of the building is prohibitive will be prioritized for registration for the next zoom cycle (dates TBD).

You can also view this document for additional access information about BAX’s space.

Q: What are the COVID considerations of the in-person rehearsal period and show?

A: Class: Participants are welcome to mask in class. When individuals are performing lip syncs or in-progress performances, they will have the opportunity to unmask at their discretion. We will have air filters, fans and windows cracked to increase air circulation.

Show: Masks are optional and welcome during the show. The show will be livestreamed for remote access. Performers will be asked to submit a negative test on the day of the show.

Q: I have no experience in drag! Is this class for me?

A: This class is for anyone looking to experiment with drag as a form of creative expression amongst a supportive class community. Some people who take this class have drag experience and use this space to craft a new act or learn more about their character. Others are dipping their toes in for the first time!

Q: Why is there an application?

A: The purpose of this informal application is to gather information about potential participants in order to select a balanced cohort of no more than 15 participants. 

Drag Performance: Between & Beyond Gender (VIRTUAL)

When: Tuesday nights from January 9, 2024 through February 27, 2024 on Zoom from 6:30-8:30pm EST

Class dates: January 9, 16, 23, 30;  February 6, 13, 20, 27

Facilitated by: Theydy Bedbug (aka Kelindah bee Schuster) with special guests Zenobia and LOTUS BOY

Applications for the Winter 2024 Virtual Drag Class are now closed.

Drag Performance: Between & Beyond Gender” is back on Zoom for a special 8-week series with Drag Artist and Educator, Theydy Bedbug and Special Guest Facilitators Zenobia and LOTUS BOY. During this virtual workshop, participants will hone their characters through group games, movement exercises, devising work, and reflection prompts. Through the tools of clowning, lip sync, costume and make-up exploration, participants will build confidence embodying their persona in a supportive creative community. By the end of this series, students will be prepared to share an in-progress virtual drag performance with their classmates.

Kelindah bee is a drag artist known as Theydy Bedbug, a spoken-word poet, an educator, and a producer. Their art is a collage of campy drag, grotesque burlesque and narrative poetry to reclaim their body, queer audiences, and reckon with belonging. They grew up in Indonesia and Singapore, studied Drama and Gender Studies at Vassar College, and have been making art at BAX since 2015. In 2019 they won the title of “Mx. Brooklyn” and in 2021 founded the Drag Performance program at BAX. Currently, they are a Queer|Art|Mentorship 2024 fellow under the mentorship of Kate Bornstein. They believe that access to spaces of genderful play in performance and creation is a step toward collective liberation. Connect & collaborate: https://www.kelindahbee.art/ 

Learn more about LOTUS BOY through his Instagram @kinglotusboy.

Learn more about Zenobia through her Instagram @whoiszenobia.

Common Questions

Q: What is the cost?

A: At cost: $350 for 8 weeks of class, including special guest facilitators.

If you are able to pay slightly higher than the at cost fee, you will enable someone else to take the class who may otherwise not be able to.

If you need a reduced fee, you will have the opportunity to request financial aid in the application.

Q: Will we be learning drag makeup skills?

A: This class is focused on drag performance, developing a character, and producing a 3-5 minute act. We will touch on makeup and costume as it relates to character expression but we will not delve in-depth into makeup techniques beyond general recommendations.

Q: What are some of the access considerations?

A: The workshops will take place on Zoom. Closed Captioning will be available. Additionally, there is a question in the application asking for any access needs that you might have.

Q: I have no experience in drag! Is this class for me?

A: This class is for anyone looking to experiment with drag as a form of creative expression amongst a supportive class community. Some people who take this class have drag experience and use this space to craft a new act or learn more about their character. Others are dipping their toes in for the first time!

Q: Why is there an application?

A: The purpose of this informal application is to gather information about potential participants in order to select a balanced cohort of no more than 16 participants. 

Build a Drag Persona (4 week class)

Applications for the Summer 2023 Cycle have closed. Stay tuned for future programming!

Whether you seek to unveil a drag character or simply step into a more empowered state of being, this 4-week 18+ class is a space to explore the power of personas. Through group games, solo writing exercises, authentic movement, and prompts for creation, we will experiment with different ways to express character and channel your persona, whether you are just dipping your toes into drag for the first time or already have a persona you’d like to develop further in a supportive environment. We will explore your character’s backstory, how they move, speak, their skills and superpowers, how they dress and look as well as how they can support you to live with more confidence in your daily life outside of drag. As part of this class, participants will receive resources and tutorials to develop their personas beyond the class environment. This workshop is for all genders and identities and centers queer and trans wisdom.

There will be NO culminating showcase for this class.

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations more than 2 weeks in advance of the class will be accepted and refunds/credits can be issued. 

Cancellations with less than 3 days notice may not be eligible for refunds.

Questions? Email info@bax.org

New York City’s Key to NYC and its masking and vaccination requirements have officially been lifted as of March 7, 2022.  However, due to the intergenerational nature of our space, BAX is choosing to keep our vaccination requirements for all eligible individuals (6 months and older) in place until specified otherwise.  

Read more about BAX’s Covid Policy Here