Identities in Drag: An Interview with King Sammy Silver on August 20, 2020


  • Alexa Alice Joubin George Washington University
  • Terri Power Stance Theatre Company
  • King Sammy Silver



This interview with King Sammy Silver, conducted by Alexa Alice Joubin and Terri Power, explores drag as a stage practice. A London-based actor and YouTube personality, he represents a new generation of trans artists. He has worked with Power on multiple Shakespeare productions at Bath Spa University in the UK and elsewhere, and has been influenced by Power’s Drag King Richard III. He has played Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Viola in Twelfth Night, Capulet and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, and Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing. He reflects on Shakespeare’s role in trans theater today as well as how drag can deconstruct toxic masculinity.

Author Biographies

Alexa Alice Joubin, George Washington University

Alexa Alice Joubin (, she/her/hers) is the inaugural recipient of the bell hooks Legacy Award (Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association) and recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award. She writes about race, gender, cultural globalization, Shakespeare, and film and theatre. She is Professor of English; Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies; Theatre; International Affairs; and East Asian Languages and Literatures at George Washington University in Washington, DC, where she cofounded and codirects the Digital Humanities Institute. Her recent books include Shakespeare and East Asia (Oxford University Press, 2021), Race (with Martin Orkin, Routledge, 2018), Onscreen Allusions to Shakespeare: International Films, Television, and Theatre (coedited, 2022), Sinophone Adaptations of Shakespeare: An Anthology, 1987–2007 (edited, 2022), Local and Global Myths in Shakespearean Performance (coedited, 2018), and Shakespeare and the Ethics of Appropriation (coedited, 2014). She is editor-in-chief of The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Global Shakespeare and, starting 2023, the general editor of The Shakespearean International Yearbook.

Terri Power, Stance Theatre Company

Terri Power (, she/her/hers) is a professional actor, director, and playwright as well as a founding member of the Stance Theatre Company in the UK. She holds a BA in Theater from UCLA, an MFA in Staging Shakespeare, and a PhD in Drama from the University of Exeter in England. Her book, Shakespeare and Gender in Practice (Palgrave, 2016), argues that cross-gender performance was an integral part of Shakespearean theater.

King Sammy Silver

King Sammy Silver (Sam Allan Paskins) is a London-based drag king, lyric writer, and YouTube personality who focuses on comedy. He has played Valentine in Two Gentlemen of Verona, Viola in Twelfth Night, Capulet and Tybalt in Romeo and Juliet, and Benedict in Much Ado About Nothing.