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a musical thriller
by John Raymond Barker
What IS IT?
Vampire Drag Queen is a new, original pop musical thriller by John Raymond Barker that is a hybrid of revenge tragedy and the comic book hero origin story.
What's it about?
A drag queen seeks justice after her closest friend and mentor is murdered. When justice is denied, she vows to take action herself and is persuaded to become a vampire to obtain enough power to combat a seemingly unstoppable network of conspirators to the murder. The root of the conspiracy must be unearthed and brought to justice or destroyed to save her friend from limbo.
What DOES it feel like?
The feel of the piece is primarily like that of a graphic novel mixed with horror. Influences range from Batman/The Dark Knight to Sweeney Todd, The piece takes great influence from revenge tragedy (see bottom of this page).
The music is primarily electronic dance music, including dubstep, but also contains pop, cabaret, tango, and rap. Influences include Lady Gaga, Nine Inch Nails, Adventure Club, Muse, Royksopp, RuPaul, Robyn, Pet Shop Boys, and Madonna. These sounds reflect the styles you’d hear in drag shows, gay clubs and nightlife, and the darker sounds aim to capture the danger of the hate-filled, murderous storyworld.
This background includes art created by Luis Quintero
John Raymond Barker
Book, Music, & Lyrics
John is an actor, singer, writer, director, & voice over artist living in NYC. Represented by ATB Talent, John recently made his network television debut guest starring on Law & Order: SVU. A Master of Fine Arts graduate from the University of Houston School of Theatre, a large part of his training included working on new plays and musicals with Stuart Ostrow, Edward Albee, Jerry Bock, and Jerry Sterner.
He co-wrote the devised work, Gold Coast, with Stages on the Sound for Metropolitan Playhouse’s Gilded Stage Festival under the guidance of Tectonic Theater Project’s Scott Barrow. John has written and directed shorts and music videos ranging from satire and comedy to politics and activism for YouTube, including Broadway Zombie, Fierce iPhone Update, Starbucks is GAY!, The Bigot’s Guide to the Homosexual Lifestyle, Booty Text, and The Worst Christmas Pageant Ever. It was where he wrote and directed one of the first ever web series, the 8-part The Message Board. John has also written the original one-man shows, Jerby: Fully Loaded, Jerby With A “Y”, A Very Jerby Christmas, & The Lady Gaga Christmas Spectacular. John has directed with the Alley Theatre’s Houston Young Playwright’s Exchange (fun fact: one of his actors was rising star, John Behlmann). John has also been a recurring guest on HuffPost Live, offering his opinion on a variety of topics from politics to entertainment. John recently released his debut album, Our First Christmas Together, which included nine original holiday songs. Future projects include more parodies and shorts, the concept album for Vampire Drag Queen, & Our First Halloween Together.
Jared R. Pike
Jared R. Pike sees his role in life as being a “Cultivator of Creativity and Culture.” As such, Jared enjoys working directly with writers and artists to help them develop their ideas and project to their fullest potential. He has worked as a director and dramaturg in New York City and has taken this approach into the classroom working with students and faculty at New York University, New York City College of Technology, Hunter College, Lehman College, and Marymount Manhattan College.
Buy or Stream the original song
NOTICE: When I wrote, recorded, and filmed this song, it was not yet understood by the mainstream gay and drag culture that some transgender people find the slang word “tr—y” to be deeply offensive. I have debated deleting the song/video, but was convinced not to do so after much discussion with friends (for transparency: transgender and cisgender) that led me to arrive at the conclusion that the song is of its time, inoffensive in context*, and that it could allow for discussion. Despite this, I did decide to rewrite the lyric for all future performances of the song and for the musical. I absolutely stand for the rights and protections of transgender people. There may come a time when I realize the song and video should be taken down. This dialogue is very welcome. –John
*I want to acknowledge that my being cisgender gives me zero say in what is and isn’t transphobic.
a revenge tragedy
A revenge tragedy is a tragedy in which a murder victim is avenged, often by a younger kinsman and usually resulting in the death of both murderer and avenger.
our vampire laws of science
The laws of science for vampires varies from story to story. These are the ones I have chosen for our storyworld.
Vampire Drag Queen
a musical thriller