Critical Mascara, “A Post-Realness Drag Extravaganza,” returns for its fourth year serving a wild hybrid of dance, vogue, and drag competition unlike any other! Critical Mascara celebrates community and creativity through competition and now collaboration. Producer and Hostess Pepper Pepper with DJ Zaq Desfleurs are joined by celebrated choreographer Kumari Suraj as MC and Portland’s luminaire Isaiah Esquire. Together they curate and judge the Pacific Northwest’s largest, queerest, and most fabulous extravaganza.

Pepper Pepper is a fabulous queen who turns tragic into magic and trauma into drama through performance, theatre, and dance. Pepper is a celebrated MC and choreographer with work shown locally to internationally. Their current research/performance project “D.I.V.A Practice” explores drag as a contemporary practice of subversion, identity, and time travel.

Kumari Suraj, dubbed the “The Queen of Waacking Nuevo,” is known for having posted the first waacking videos on YouTube, and for having introduced waacking to mass media on the hit reality show So You Think You Can Dance. Suraj is the founder of the LA’s International Waack ⁄ Punk ⁄ Pose Festival, also known as Waackfest.

Isaiah Esquire is most known for his mastery of face, character, intricate lip-sync, and absolute connection. A seasoned dancer, instructor, choreographer, creative director, and internationally acclaimed entertainer, Isaiah has over 13 years of professional experience and continues to break down barriers of gender, sexuality, culture, and age.

Critical Mascara — Call for Contestants