Workhorse Queen

12 August to 22 August 2021

When RuPaul’s Drag Race first sashayed onto television screens over a decade ago, it became a pop culture juggernaut that brought drag into the living rooms of people all around the world, and offered queer performers an opportunity of a lifetime.

Director Angela Washco creates an intimate and engaging portrait of Ed Popil, also known as Mrs. Kasha Davis, who finally became a contestant in season seven of the show after auditioning every year previous. Hailing from Rochester, New York Mrs. Davis is an incarnation of Ed’s mother, a delightful and warm 1950’s housewife with a penchant for afternoon cocktails and dirty jokes. As we follow Ed through the hoops and gates to career success, the conversations about performance, character and representation deepen. Mrs. Kasha Davis’ narrative complicates the impact of Drag Race and its effect on queer performance and culture, and ultimately reminds us what we love most about drag; that it opens up so many possibilities for experimentation and play, for expression and healing. That freakiness, comedy and courageous vulnerability of the performers we meet in Workhorse Queen shows the life of a Queen isn’t all glam and drama- it’s also struggle and perseverance and ingenuity and community.

Content advisory: Depictions of alcohol use and discussions of addition and alcohol abuse.

Don’t miss a pre-recorded Q&A with director Angela Washko and Mrs Kasha Davis!