College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

‘American Cultural Icon’ John Waters to Perform Free One-Man Show


Writer, photographer and director John Water will perform his one-man show  March 28 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Writer, photographer and director John Waters will perform his one-man show March 28 at the Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts.

Acclaimed writer, director and photographer John Waters is bringing his one-man show “This Filthy World” to the University of Mississippi’s Gertrude C. Ford Center for the Performing Arts for a March 28 performance.

Hosted by the university’s Sarah Isom Center for Women and Gender Studies, the student-inspired event is made possible by the support from the University Lecture Series, numerous campus entities and private donations. The 7 p.m. event is free, but tickets are required and are available at the UM Box Office inside the Student Union.

Waters has directed more than a dozen movies and is a noted photographer whose work has appeared in galleries worldwide. His is also the writer of many nonfiction books, and his most recent, “Carsick” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014), was a 2014 New York Times bestseller.

“John Waters has been a key figure in gender studies for decades,” said Jaime Harker, the Isom Center’s interim director. “His films paved the way for performers like RuPaul and with his casting of ‘big girl’ Ricki Lake in ‘Hairspray,’ he forged a path that, most recently, Lena Denham in (the HBO series) ‘Girls’ has trod. Look at recent popular culture manifestations of feminism, body size, gender and sexuality, and it is almost certain that John Waters did it first and did it better.”

In anticipation of the event, the Isom Center, Student Union and Division of Student Affairs are hosting a “Welcome to the World of John Waters Movie Night” beginning at 6 p.m. Tuesday (March 24) in the Turner Center Auditorium. “Hairspray” and “Serial Mom” will make up the double-feature. The evening also will feature a raffle of John Waters tickets with VIP seating, an autographed movie poster and copies of “Carsick.” This event is free.

“Bringing John Waters to our campus marks an important moment for the university community and our students,” said Theresa Starkey, assistant director and instructor of gender studies. “His body of creative work covers so much and his vision and influence seems limitless, embracing film, photography, sculpture and nonfiction. As an artist, Waters is always probing the boundaries of good taste. He embraces the complexities of American culture and social life and celebrates diversity and the outsider in the process.”