Several years ago, when Brianne Croteau left her former life in Washington, D.C. behind, she never expected to reconnect with her performance roots almost a decade later in her new home in Central Pennsylvania – but that’s what happened.
Croteau quickly became more involved in the local arts scene as a featured artist and freelancer and Artist-In-Residence at the Arts Underground, a new alternative artist collective in Lewisburg, PA.
It was through this creative work that she first forged her friendship with Brice Brown, founder and owner of Milton Art Bank (MAB). Brown’s work in public collections include the International College Center, the Baltimore Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, and Yale University. He also curates Front Window Gallery, an alternative exhibition space located in the window of a 19th-century townhouse in Milton, PA.
Brown and Croteau quickly bonded over their love for the arts and connection to the LGBTQ community. “Brice and I were talking and I mentioned my time performing [as Dallas] with the DC Kings. We half-jokingly said, ‘Wouldn’t a king show be an amazing event to bring to the MAB?’ From there, we got excited about it and it just took off.”
“Drag kings as an art form has been overlooked and sidelined by the prominence and visibility of the drag queens for years. It just wasn’t taken as seriously,” says Brown. “I just felt it was time for that to change and for the kings to rise and have their moment.”
Since its inception, MAB has fostered a new sense of curiosity and has introduced many locals to art and performance they have never had access to before. And, the “Night of Kings” show is no exception.
What might be most surprising to people is the fact a drag king show is happening in Milton, PA. Milton is known as a rural community with an industrial history with a population of a little over 7,000. However, as more urban transplants move in and the culture vibe changes the town is starting to develop a burgeoning LGBTQ community. For Croteau, the transformation has made a difference, which is important “to [her] and many others living in the surrounding areas.”
With “Night of Kings” tickets almost sold out, it seems the town of Milton is ready for this type of change and excitement.
And, excitement they will have!
The Night of Kings will be hosted by international personality extraordinaire, Wang Newton. The night also showcases premier drag kings from across the U.S. and Canada, featuring performances by Cyril Cinder, Dallas, E-Cleff, Mr. Lee Valone, and Maxwell Treats. DJ Jay D, resident DJ of Nowhere bar in NYC will be spinning all night and keeping the dance floor moving.
“Aside from what will undoubtedly be some amazing performances and a kick-ass fun evening, what I am most looking forward to is being able to bring together a community of like-minded folks gathering to celebrate and have a good time,” says Brown.
Brown and Croteau hope to continue to create new spaces and events for artists and residents. The duo are already planning for next year’s event.
Night of Kings takes place October 20 at Milton Art Bank, 23 South Front Street, Milton, PA. Doors open at 7 p.m. To learn more about the event and the performers or to purchase tickets, visit https://miltonartbank.com/kings/. Limited amount of tickets available.