The Power of Performance

Ean Ammerman discovered his love for theatre the moment he appeared in his first play – an eighth grade production of The Miracle Worker.

“After I spoke my first line, the audience laughed and I was hooked. I knew I needed to do this forever,” says Ammerman.

At Albright, Ammerman has immersed himself in the theatre program, from appearing in numerous Domino Players’ productions – including Maelstrom, which he calls a game-changer for him – to performing with the improv groups of Less Than or Equal To and Soviet Purgatory.

Ammerman, who is graduating a year early, has also incorporated his theatrical talents and passion into drag performances.

In high school, Ammerman says he didn’t have the ability to express his true self. So when he arrived on campus in 2014, he wanted to seize every opportunity to infuse LGBT culture into his undergraduate experience.

Working with now-alumna Sarah Crake ’16, Ammerman helped create Roop Hall’s Drag Race, an annual event in which Albright students gather for drag performances and work in tandem with LGBT groups on campus, including the newly formed PRIDE+.

“I think we had a need for an event like this, and I think the fact that we pack Roop Hall to capacity every show speaks to how well received it still is on campus,” says Ammerman. “Roop Hall’s Drag Race is an institution now, and I’m so happy to have had a hand in these past three years.”

Along with his love for drag performance, Ammerman finds joy in being a writer, critic, actor and producer. In the fall, he will embark on his next great role – at the National Theater Institute in Connecticut. There, he will receive intensive training in a conservatory environment, including several weeks of theatrical instruction in London.

Long-term, Ammerman says he hopes to “keep doing what I have done – using theatre as a means of empowering the LGBT community. I don’t plan to stop performing drag anytime soon.”

And he adds, “The bottom line is this: If I can change even one person’s life for the better, just by being me, then I will never stop being as open as I can be.”