NEPA Scene Staff

Scranton Fringe Fest cancels Big Gay StorySlam, hosts online drag show with Pissi Myles instead

Scranton Fringe Fest cancels Big Gay StorySlam, hosts online drag show with Pissi Myles instead
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From a press release:

The Scranton Fringe Festival announced today that its popular Big Gay StorySlam scheduled for Saturday, June 6 at the Scranton Cultural Center has been canceled, but its host, drag queen Pissi Myles, will perform in a free Facebook Live stream that night instead.

Scranton Fringe organizers wrote:

Hello friends! With everything going on in the world, we regret to announce that we are unable to move forward with the highly anticipated annual Big Gay StorySlam as scheduled for June 6th. The Scranton Fringe and Scranton StorySlam team will miss hosting this event and look forward to the next time that we can gather for a memorable evening of storytelling. We wish to thank our venue partner, the Scranton Cultural Center at the Masonic Temple, for their continued support!

The good news is that we have something else planned! Keep your schedule cleared for June 6th – in place of our beloved Big Gay StorySlam, we will be virtually presenting the one and only Pissi Myles in a live drag show on our Facebook page! Pissi will serenade you, distract you, answer your burning questions, and make all of your dreams come true! Hope you can join in for a night of new traditions!

Earlier this month, the Scranton Fringe Fest hosted a virtual First Friday drag show with Myles. The next online show will be held on June 6 from 8 p.m.-9:30 p.m. for free, though donations are encouraged via Venmo (@ScrantonFringe) or PayPal ( Proceeds will be supporting both the festival and the artist.

Watch the previous live stream below:

Pissi Myles was born kicking and screaming and hasn’t stopped since. As a comedian, singer, and humorist, she has been noted as one of the most talented queens in the Northeast by fans, critics, and peers. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan magazine, Mic, RuPaul’s “What’s the Tee?” podcast, and more. She’s also performed at the return of the legendary Wigstock festival in 2018.

Myles received her BFA in musical theatre from Montclair State University in 2011, which was promptly traded in for big hair and sequined gowns.

Always one to make a scene, she partnered with the streaming news app Happs in 2019 to cover Donald Trump’s impeachment. Donning a red mini dress and a patriotic updo, Myles caused a stir on Capital Hill, leading to stories from the Washington Post, NBC, and the New York Post, plus thoughtful words of support from actress Missi Pyle, George Takei, and even the queen herself, RuPaul. She has also reported on the Democratic debates for Happs, interviewing presidential hopefuls Kamala Harris and Cory Booker.

In 2014, Myles won Cycle 4 of Mimi Imfurst’s Philly Drag Wars, a 13-week competition in the style of “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” Following her win, she has continued to produce successful comedy shows with well-known drag queens like Lady Bunny, “RuPaul’s Drag Race” winner Bob the Drag Queen, London’s Meth, and more. Her hosting and comedic talents have earned her the title of 2014’s Best Drag Hostess in Philadelphia at the Beacon Light Awards.

In 2017, Myles wrote and starred in “Babashook,” a parody video in response to the Internet outing the Babadook as a gay icon. The video quickly began to go viral after being covered by outlets such as Billboard, Huffington Post, Queerty, and Hello Giggles. The single is available on iTunes.

Myles continues to produce her weekly shows in New York City, among her many other guest appearances throughout NYC, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and New Jersey. She can also be heard on her weekly podcast My Spooky Gay Family with her sister Sam Baxter.

Founded in 2015, the Scranton Fringe Festival is a yearly celebration of the performing arts dedicated to creating an accessible artistic platform for artists and audiences, all while promoting the greater Scranton area as a viable creative marketplace. A true incubator of the arts, the Scranton Fringe has grown in size and scope each year and now produces year-round programming, which includes workshops, children’s theatre, concerts, and other special events in Northeastern Pennsylvania and beyond as it begins to develop work to tour.

Over 10,000 audience members have taken part in the work of the Scranton Fringe. Regional as well as international touring artists are welcomed to present original theatre, dramas, music, stand-up comedy, children’s programming, dance performances, and more with no censorship placed on content or artistic expression.

The Scranton Fringe Festival is set to return on Sept. 24-Oct. 4, so it has not been canceled or postponed like so many other events due to COVID-19. Its organizers and participants, however, have been forced to cancel many other live performances in the meantime, so the event launched its own digital festival in March to both entertain audiences stuck at home and aid artists struggling during the shutdown of all non-essential businesses.

Breaking out of the long-running Scranton StorySlam series, the Big Gay StorySlam is a celebration of LGBTQ+ voices, welcoming members of the community to share their stories of triumph, disappointment, humor, and heartbreak with supportive audiences. In 2019, the Scranton Fringe Festival produced its fifth local installment of the event, hosted by Myles at the Scranton Cultural Center, as well as off-Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse in New York City and for the entire month of August at the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland.

After five years of producing the Big Gay StorySlam as part of its annual fall festival, the Scranton Fringe planned to present the next event on June 6 to coincide with national LGBT Pride Month.