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RuPaul’s Drag Race star, Mrs. Kasha Davis, delights Brockport campus with more than just drag 

Mrs. Kasha Davis | Photo credit: Michala Schram

By Michala Schram

Mrs. Kasha Davis told her story to the Brockport campus on November 2 and 3 in her performance of, “There’s Always Time for a Cocktail.” She illustrated the ups and downs in her life, growing up as a little boy named Ed, and how even with the negativity that the world shows, there is always time to show kindness. 

Along with this missus, there is a mister Davis, also known as Steve Levins, is the other half of Mrs. Kasha Davis. In the on-campus performance, “There’s Always Time for a Cocktail,” he accompanied Kasha for the entirety of the show with music, smiles and support. 

Levins chuckled and said working with his husband is, “something that we do together. So, it’s more fun than work most of the time, except for when he goes over the budget in clothing.” Levins handles more of the operational side to Mrs. Kasha Davis, and supports all areas of what she needs on and off the stage. 

With almost 21 years of partnership, Ed Popil (Mrs. Kasha Davis out of drag) said, “There’s no way that I could continue to have the success as Mrs. Kasha Davis without Mr. Davis and it’s always been that way that’s how we started right from day one.” 

Mr. and Mrs. Kasha Davis | Photo Credit: John Gram

Assistant Professor of Theater, Danny Hoskins added that he has been worked with Popil for almost 15 years doing work with the Blackfrair Theatre in Rochester. Performing in drag is one way that Popil showcases parts of his first love— theater. 

Hoskins expressed how excited he is about Kasha Davis’s presence on campus. “When [Popil] gets excited and energized, and gets very passionate about things, his joy and his love is tangible. You can feel it. It’s palpable in the room,” Hoskins said.  

The department of Theatre and Music studies not only asked Popil to be part of the April 2024 production, “The Prom,” but asked him to be part of a year-long residency with the college. The residency idea came from Associate Professor in the department, Ruth Childs, after talking with Hoskins about Kasha guest starring in the production. 

“The Prom” is about a teenage girl, Emma, who identifies as a lesbian. She wants to take her girlfriend to the prom, but that leads to an uprising in complaints against two young women going to the prom together; and results in a series of ups and downs throughout the story. 

“The fact that this story is about, all of these people, young and old coming together, and it really is a celebration of love, and of kindness and acceptance. I couldn’t even be more excited to do it,” said Popil.  

Hoskins said the character Popil is taking on, Barry, has an over-the-top and dramatic personality. However, Barry has other layers and qualities that deepen who the character is. “He’s also just full of hope, and joy, and love,” said Hoskins. 

He explained that the Barry wants students, “to put themselves out there to take a risk; and to say this is who I am and be proud of it. And he as a character is also struggling with some of that…so that underlying element of just that genuine generosity and joy, and love and heart is what Ed has,” said Hoskins. 

Sales to purchase tickets for, “The Prom,” will be available in March 2024. 

Brockport college students have the opportunity to attend events like Drag Bingo on campus. In addition, Popil will be teaching a class called, “Drag Culture, Theory, and Performance,” with the assistance of Hoskins in the Spring 2024 semester. 

Growing up in an era of the 1970s with no strong representation of who he is, Popil wanted to change that. 

“I realized that I had great parents who wanted the best for me, but [I] did not ever see an example of happy, healthy, queer people living within really any community,” said Popil. 

He started in the drag scene performing in Rochester and climbed his way up to the TV screen on RuPaul’s Drag Race in season seven and RuPaul’s Drag Race All-Stars in season eight. Additionally, Popil, in partnership with Hoskins and Mary Tiballi Hoffman, they have started their own children’s television show, Imagination Station. Live performances of Imagination Station with Mrs. Kasha Davis are at Blackfriar’s Theatre on November 25, and December 16. 

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