University of Tampa alum premieres drag and LGBTQ-centric play in St. Petersburg

By : Ryan Williams-Jent
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ST. PETERSBURG | STUN, a new play by Jordan K. Stovall centering on LGBTQ culture, held its first public reading at SubCentral at the Iberian Rooster in St. Petersburg Sept. 20.

The play, which was presented to the public in its entirety for the first time since its development at the Hamilton Project at the Barn Arts Collective in Maine, follows the story of four drag personas. Matthew McGee, Zachary Hines, Ricky Cona and Siobhan Monique brought Charmaine, Honey Pot, Misty Tension and Chastity to life for attendees, navigating “the polarizing labyrinth of family, gender, approval and self-actualization.”

McGee is the Community Outreach Director at freeFall Theatre, Hines is the Audience Engagement Manager at American Stage, Cona is a singer and actor at Entertainment Central Productions and Monique is a lead vocalist, singer and songwriter.

“Deep down is a violet heart beating out, wrapped in a steely web of skepticism and humor built up to keep the pain out. A spreading epidemic,” the play’s synopsis teases, noting that it was “inspired by iconic works examining gay culture such as The Velvet Rage and Paris is Burning.”

Stovall noted on the reading’s Facebook event page that he was particularly excited about the reading’s venue of SubCentral at the Iberian Rooster, self-described as the “only underground venue in St. Pete.” He further noted that the reading was followed by a drag show and encouraged guests to make an evening of the event.

Stovall, a St. Petersburg native who graduated with a B.A. in Theatre (Performing Arts) from the University of Tampa, currently serves as the Manager of the Regional Rep Program at the Dramatists Guild of America, described as “the foremost organization of its kind advocating for the authors of new dramatic works across the nation.”

“As a playwright, he has had the opportunity of studying with Tina Howe, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Michele Lowe, Gary Garrison and Stefanie Zadravec at the Dramatists Guild Institute,” his website advises, “where he also serves as Executive Administrator.” Stovall will also be attending the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama in London, in the fall of 2017 to pursue an M.F.A. in Writing for the Stage and Broadcast Media.

STUN’s reading also served as a fundraiser for the LGBTQ Homeless Youth Project, with donations accepted throughout the evening (but not mandatory for those in attendance.) SubCentral at the Iberian Rooster is located at 475 Central Avenue, Suite 100, St. Petersburg, FL 33701, and regularly features drag performances.

You can learn more about STUN and its playwright Jordan K. Stovall by visiting JordanStovall.com.

(Photo by Sheri Kendrick Photography.)

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