The long history of theatrical crossing of gender boundaries has been
publicly more visible in the form of men in female drag.
But there has been a long history of women putting on the male disguise/
playing male roles e.g. Sarah Bernhardt played Hamlet, Peter Pan was always
played by women. Within the history of American vaudeville, theatre and
German cabaret especially in the 1920s, there have been numerous
women performing as men.
When the film medium became popular crossdressing and crosscasting were
exciting subjects for movies too. Asta Nielson played Hamlet on screen
in 1921, Greta Garbo in Queen Christina 1933.
Within this festival we will celebrate the performative aspects of women
putting on male drag/the male disguise. In the last fifteen years a new
phenomena has evolved within cabaret, theatre, comedy, club-cultures and
particularly within gay, lesbian and bisexual cultures: women who
perform as men and call themselves Drag Kings.
The term Drag King (a woman in the male disguise)
is now used as an equivalent to Drag Queen (a man in the female disguise).
According to A.Binder and S.Benedek, the term Drag Queen comes from Shakespeare.
Drag Kings have developed into strong performers, creating their own artistic
styles in which they deal with identity and representations of women in
society, playing with masculinity and confronting other issues.
Growing numbers of Drag King performers are paralleled by a growing number
of gender studies departments at leading universities in the US and Europe.