The Austinites Behind the Curtain: Poo Poo Platter

Previously in this series:
Cheerful Secrets
Hyde Park Storytelling
Wishing Horse Productions
Tiny Minotaur
Art Island
Erica Lies
Mike Stefanik
Ron Berry
Hyperreal Film Club
Gino Scaramuzza

We love spotlighting local creatives who are responsible for the events that we list. Remember, there would be no pig parades, facial hair competitions, dance shows in quarries, or sound installations in tree houses without the individual people who organize and promote them. You can read some of our previous interviews on our website

This month, we’re speaking with Bubu, founder and producer of Poo Poo Platter, which has played a key role in Austin’s drag scene for the past 12 years. In honor of Poo Poo Platter’s final show, which is coming up this month, we asked Bubu to take us behind the scenes. 

Lite + Brite: There’s a diverse and thriving drag scene in Austin. What niche would you say Poo Poo Platter occupies within that? 

Bubu: Poo Poo Platter started as a response for the need to showcase alternative drag where there was nowhere to do it in Austin. But since then it has been a show to feature all types of drag as well as other types of queer performers. What makes us unique is the Elysium stage, which allows us to put more production into our performances. We also feature themes that no other shows do, such as tribute shows to artists other than your Top 40 divas.

L+B: What’s Poo Poo Platter’s origin story? 

Bubu: I’d been living in Austin for about a year and only performed once so far. Then Queerbomb 2012 rolled around. Some of my out-of-town producer/entertainer friends came for that weekend and brought some of their own parties. One was Heklina (RIP), who brought her former show Tr*nnyshack. I performed that night and knew that Austin needed something other than your standard drag shows as an outlet for people like me. I talked to Paul Soileau (aka CHRISTEENE) and asked for his help to get a show started. He connected me with John Wickham at Elysium. John was willing to give me a shot, and the rest is history.

L+B: How do you pick the monthly theme? What have been some of your favorites over the years?

Bubu: Sometimes the themes are random ideas. And sometimes the themes, particularly artist tributes, correlate with particular dates such as holidays, birthdays, album releases/anniversaries, concert dates, etc. The Drag Supreme of Halloween Pageant is always a favorite. Some of our favorite tribute shows have been Dolly Parton, Siouxsie, and Jim Henson.

L+B: How much do you work with each performer on their act before the show, and how much of it comes as a surprise to you on the night of the performance? 

Bubu: Every performer works independently for their own performance. The only thing we do in advance is make sure our songs and concepts are not duplicated within each show. So it’s always a surprise as to what each performer is doing.

L+B: What’s the most memorable or unexpected thing to ever happen at Poo Poo Platter?

Bubu: I think the one thing everyone will always remember is when there was actual poo poo on the Poo Poo Platter stage. Of course it was an accident. The theme was Hot Summer Mess. It lived up to its name.

L+B: With Poo Poo Platter coming to an end, what’s next for you?

Bubu: Rest and relaxation! And then I’ll explore other creative outlets. I’m not quitting drag. But I will no longer be producing regularly scheduled drag shows.