British Columbia

Dads in drag: Vancouver couple brings dress-up to children's festival

Two local drag queens are set to light up the Vancouver International Children's Festival with equal parts silliness and sass in a child-friendly drag show this weekend.

Two local performers have created a drag show for all ages called Parents are a Drag

ZeeZee Theatre's new show, Parents are a Drag, brings dress-up to the Vancouver International Children's Festival on Granville Island. (Dave Deveau)

Two local drag queens are set to light up the Vancouver International Children's Festival with equal parts silliness and sass in a child-friendly drag show this weekend.

Peach Cobblah and Isolde N. Barron — as well as their 9-5 counterparts, Dave Deveau and husband Cameron Mackenzie — have created a drag show for all ages called Parents are a Drag.

Deveau and Mackenzie developed the production to show kids and remind parents that dress-up is OK.

"Kids want to play dress-up," Mackenzie said to Stephen Quinn, host of CBC's The Early Edition.

Deveau adds they're attempting to give young people access to a world typically restricted to a 19+ environment.

'An article of clothing doesn't have a gender'

The show will feature Peach Cobblah and Isolde N. Barron — along with their 16-month-old son — in a musical, dress-up celebration.

The duo says Parents are a Drag will follow the same format as a drag show you would see at a local bar, but the content and songs will be suitable for children.

Creators Dave Deveau and Cameron MacKenzie say their show makes drag accessible for younger audiences. (Ono Photography / submitted by Dave Deveau)

The creators, who both work in Vancouver's theatre industry, say there's a subtle message hidden underneath the glitz, glamour and spandex: an article of clothing doesn't have a gender.

"Kids can explore things. Don't get too caught up in your brain about it," said Deveau.

"Just experience the joy of seeing your kids having fun."

Deveau and Mackenzie say parents often overthink what it means if their child likes a piece of clothing that's traditionally reserved for a certain gender. But the truth, they say, can be much simpler.

"If you want to put this silly thing on your head or these silly things on your feet, that's all they are, just little bits of silly things," says MacKenzie.

Parent Participation

During the show, the audience will be invited to dress up and the fun isn't reserved solely for the kids — parents are expected to get in on the action too.

Deveau and MacKenzie say it's important for kids to be able to see their parents embrace getting silly.

"It gives children that moment to say, 'Oh, okay. This is cool with Dad. Now I can do what I need to explore myself, my passions and my inner workings,'" said MacKenzie. 

Parents are a Drag runs Saturday and Sunday on Granville Island.

You can listen to the full interview below.

Cameron MacKenzie and Dave Deveau will perform "Parents are a Drag" at the Vancouver's International Children's Festival. 7:19