The Milstead Manifesto

Milstead exists to support the development and presentation of performance that offers something to progressive social change, in difficult times.

We believe that the Arts is where under-privileged, under-represented and under-threat communities can, uniquely, hold space and share ideas; and it is where mainstream society first begins to process those ideas.

We ask of all our work, “What does it do? How does this help?”. Our efforts do not represent a complete or even sometimes substantial solution, but we contribute how we can.

We believe performance is the servant of audience, and popularity is a virtue in itself.

We are a commercial enterprise but we don’t aim to make a profit. We make money where we can, so we can spend it on projects that are important to us where we can’t.

The company takes its name from “Glenn Milstead”, the real name of Divine, the outrageous muse and star of cult ‘70s film-maker John Waters’ notorious movies. The arc of Divine’s and John Waters’ careers exemplify the way radical and subversive values can become inculcated and even respected in the mainstream.

November, 2019.