(WFXR) — A self-proclaimed “drag extravaganza” caused controversy in Bedford County before finding a new home in Lynchburg at the Academy Center of the Arts.
“A Knight with Kendall,” hosted by Kendall Mullins of Forest, was originally set to take place at Jefferson Forest High School as a fundraiser.
However, Bedford County Public Schools announced that — due to concerns from community members — administrators and organizers mutually agreed to find an alternate sponsor and venue.
“I was disappointed because it’s just so local,” said Jack Wallis, a student at Forest Middle School who’s involved with Jefferson Forest High School’s Cavalier Theatre.
Wallis and his mom went out to the Historic Academy Theatre in Lynchburg on Thursday, Aug. 4 to show support for Mullins.
“As a Jefferson Forest parent, I’m very much looking forward to seeing the show and supporting Kendall as he was a graduate,” Wallis’ mother said.
Cavalier Theatre released a statement in mid-July, saying it was disappointed in the school officials’ decision to move “A Knight with Kendall” and that Mullins had already raised nearly $3,000 for the theater through his previous shows.
“His shows in the past didn’t have the word drag in them,” said Carla Bruce, another Bedford County Public Schools parent, adding that the word may have triggered some parents to complain.
“I really don’t care what he does on stage. We are here to help him and further his cause,” Bruce stated.
“I think it’s fantastic that, even though this event got canceled in a neighboring county, that the Academy picked it up and really it got just that much more publicity for people,” said Jan Ramsey, who went to see the show.
After “A Knight with Kendall” got underway on Thursday, the Academy Center of the Arts told WFXR News it sold around 600 tickets to the show.
“Thank you so much to everyone who came out to PACK the Academy Center of the Arts tonight in support of A KNIGHT WITH KENDALL! He blew the roof off the place, and raised over $11,000 for Cavalier Theatre! Yes, you read that right,” Cavalier Theatre wrote on Facebook late Thursday night. “Thank you Academy, thank you Lynchburg, and most of all, thank you Kendall & Co. Love truly won on this day!”