Don Evans Born 1938 - 2003
Merchantville, New Jersey, United States
Spouse Frances Gooding Chapman (divorced)
Early life and education
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 1938, Evans was an only child, raised by his mother, Mary Evans. After serving in the United States Marine Corps, he attended Cheyney State College, where he majored in secondary English education. He went on to Temple University, earning an Master of Arts in education and an Master of Fine Arts in theater arts.
In 1971 Evans began teaching at Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey), where he chaired the Afro-American Studies Department from 1971 to 1983. During this time, Evans directed such plays as The Taking of Miss Janie by Ed Bullins and August Wilson's Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. He also taught courses in African-American literature and drama, jazz, and playwriting. Evans was a visiting professor at nearby Rutgers University and Princeton University, and worked from 1978-1998 with his friend and fellow playwright August Wilson in forming the Black Theatre Summit at Dartmouth College, from which was formed the African Grove Institute for the Arts.
Don Evans studied acting, directing, and playwriting at the Hagen-Berghof Studios in New York City from 1969 to 1970, during which time he also taught English and Drama at Princeton High School in Princeton, New Jersey. An integral part of the Black Arts movement of the 1970s, Evans had his first plays, the one acts Orrin and Sugarmouth Sam Don’t Dance No More performed in 1972 at the Crossroads Theatre, a professional playhouse in New Brunswick, New Jersey. In 1976 he wrote It’s Showdown Time, a raucous adaptation of William Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew. In 1978, Evans wrote Mahalia, his first musical, a portrait of Gospel vocalist Mahalia Jackson. Louis, Evans' musical portrayal of jazz legend Louis Armstrong, was written in 1981. Other works include The Trials and Tribulations of Staggerlee Booker T. Brown, One Monkey Don't Stop No Show a tragi-comic look at a middle-class black family, and A Lovesong for Miss Lydia,  described by the New York Times as "a Pinteresque encounter of two elderly people." Evans wrote his final play, When Miss Mollie Hit the Triple Bars, in 1999. It was based on the life of his mother, Mary.
Over the course of his career, Don Evans received playwriting fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the New Jersey Council of the Arts, and the New Jersey Historical Society. Evans has a total of six plays in publication, and a total of eighteen have been produced the world over, in such countries as Germany, England and Hong Kong. He also served, from 1983 to 1988, as artistic director for the Karamu House in Cleveland, Ohio. Don Evans was honored as AMPARTS Fellow for the United States Information Agency to India in 1984. He died at the age of 65 of a heart attack on October 16, 2003 at his home in Merchantville, New Jersey.
- "I see myself writing in the tradition of Shaw and Moliere. I'm very much aware that I come from a street tradition, but my work came about because of writers I love, especially Shakespeare." 
- "I've always tried to make college theater something multiracial and multicultural -- a living art form. But no one pays serious attention to black college kids who love the theater. They perform in isolated groups. In terms of craft, their work isn't seriously appraised."
- "What's painful is that all artists are part of a nonracial community. If you're good, you're good, and you should be evaluated, irrespective of race."
List of Plays
- Sugarmouth Sam Don't Dance No More
- The Trials and Tribulations of Staggerlee Booker T. Brown
- The Prodigals
- One Monkey Don't Stop No Show.
- Sugarmouth Sam Don't Dance No More
- Matters of Choice
- It's Showdown Time
- A Lovesong for Miss Lydia
- Louis (musical based on the life of Louis Armstrong)
- Mahalia (musical biography of Mahalia Jackson)
- One Monkey Don't Stop No Show
- What Harriet Did
- Honky Tonk
- When Miss Mollie Hit the Triple Bars
Notes and references
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Don Evans — Donald Evans Donald Louis Evans (* 27. Juli 1946 in Houston, Texas) ist ein US amerikanischer Geschäftsmann und Politiker (Republikanische Partei). Er war von 2001 bis 2005 Handelsminister unter Präsident … Deutsch Wikipedia
Don't Forget Your Toothbrush — Format Light Entertainment Presented by Chris Evans Country of origin United Kingdom No. of series 2 No. of episodes … Wikipedia
Don Tallon — Personal information Full name Donald Tallon Born 17 February 1916(1916 02 17) Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia Died 7 September 1984 … Wikipedia
Don Craig Wiley — (October 21, 1944 – November 2001) was an American microbiologist. Wiley was world renowned for finding new ways to help the human immune system battle such viral scourges as smallpox, influenza, AIDS, Ebola, and herpes simplex. His research… … Wikipedia
Don't You Think It's Time? — Don t You Think It s Time Single by Bob Evans from the album Suburban Songbook B side Sisters Wedding Day … Wikipedia
Don Weller (musician) — Don Weller Born 19 December 1940 Origin UK Genres Post bop Hard bop Occupations Musician Composer Instrument … Wikipedia
Don Shula — in July 2009. No. 96, 44, 25, 26 Head Coach Cornerback … Wikipedia
Don Preston — (* 21. September 1932 in Flint, Michigan, als Donald Ward Preston) ist ein US amerikanischer Rock und Fusionmusiker sowie Filmmusikkomponist. Er spielt Kontrabass, Klavier und Keyboard, wobei er als Pionier auf dem Gebiet des Synthesizers gilt.… … Deutsch Wikipedia
Don Hutson — during his tenure with the Packers. No. 14 Wide Receiver / Safety / Placekicker Personal information … Wikipedia
Don Ewell — Birth name Don Ewell Born November 14, 1916(1916 11 14) Origin Baltimore, Ma … Wikipedia