Daring Divas Battle for the Drag Crown in the SAC


Dominick Duda

Dominick Duda, the winner of Diva Night, performs in the Student Activity Center.

Sarah DiMarco, Contributing Writer

Diva Night, the annual drag queen talent show hosted by the Arts House, was a fun filled night that included everything from lip-synching to wigs flying off — and it all went to support the LGBT community.
The Arts House is a part of the Student Directed Learning Community (SDLC). SDLC is designed for the members to choose an educational theme that they wish to explore by living in the house. The themes can range between anything from sustainability to the arts.
The current members of the Arts House include Grace McConnell, Nic Campeotto, Dominick Duda, Maggie Williams, Nicholas Baldasare, and Chris Meyers. Each member of the house is responsible for fundraising to provide refreshments during their events and also for decorations and general upkeep.
Diva Night is just one of the many events the Arts House hosts. Each month the house hosts Jams ‘N Java, which is an open mic night held in the basement.
“The basement has a platform stage built by previous house members, and the house owns a keyboard to accompany students,” Grace McConnell explained further.
Diva Night which was held on April 25 in the Student Activity Center, is a comedy and music performance-oriented drag show. Half of the proceeds of the event go to the LGBT Community Center of Cleveland.
“Through Diva Night, the SDLC Arts House aims to provide a safe and non-judgmental environment for students to express themselves, with a focus on promoting a safe space for the self-expression of LGBT+ students,” McConnell said.
The entire room was filled with excitement while people dressed in all forms of drag filled the audience. The show opened with Chris Meyers announcing the members of the house who strutted their stuff on stage followed by the exuberant Eric Dahl as the host and master of ceremonies.
Dahl led the show with charm and a little bit of sauciness while contestants lip-synched to music. The judges of the show included the vocal performance professor Tracy Grady, alumni Alison Shafer, and Luke Brett- who flawlessly portrayed Tim Curry throughout the entire show.
The contestants included Anna Womack, Connor Studer, Zane Radcliffe, Kathryn Griffin and Kelsey Baehrens, Dominick Duda, Amber Hugee, Natalie Kreft, and Dayne Sundman.
All performers wowed the crowd with their theatrical dancing and lip-synching skills. Some standouts include Radcliffe performing as Giley Cyrus, belting out “Wrecking Ball,” to the crowd while working a hammer.
Hugee performing as Childish Gambino stunned the crowd with her rapping skills. Duda worked through losing his wig to continue on with his Jessie J mashup to get a standing ovation.
Two lucky members of the audience were chosen to go on stage to show off their lip-synching to the one and only, Britney Spears. Their performance left every one captivated including Judge Grady who couldn’t help but jump up during the audience judging.
Before the winner was announced Ian Smith was crowned, “Best in Drag,” by the audience. Each diva worked their stuff, but only one could be crowned the champion. Dominick Duda was the winner of the battle, but that didn’t stop the other contestants and the audience from dancing the rest of the night away.