Today we’re featuring Jason Evans- currently rehearsing to play Beast in the Variety Children’s Theatre production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast at the Touhill October 21-23!
Born and raised in St. Louis, Jason Evans is a graduate of Parkway North and attended the theater program at the university of Missouri State. 4 years in LA, now about 4 years in NYC, he’s now closing in on a decade in the industry. Favorite credits- Passion directed by John Doyle (Private Augenti, Giorgio u/s, NY cast recording), On Your Toes with Encores! at NY City Center (Hank Smith). Selected regional credits- Beauty and the Beast (Beast), Bye Bye Birdie (Conrad), South Pacific (Cable), Meet Me in St. Louis (John), Fiddler (Perchik).
Q: What was your first experience in theatre?
A: My first experience with musicals came when I was very young. My uncle, who I adored, had a study where we would go when I was little and he would show me the old Batman TV shows from the 40’s. One day he decided to pop in Singing in the Rain. I remember being enamored by the ease of Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor. They made singing and dancing look cool. And although I wouldn’t get into theater until much later in life, that always stuck with me.
Q: What is the best piece of career advice anyone has ever given you?
A: A fellow actor once told me that making it in the business is a fine line between caring too much about some things, and not caring at all about others. Meaning, work as hard as you can on the work, and all of the trivial stuff, let go of.
Q: Tell us about a backstage or onstage mishap you lived through.
A: I was in South Pacific at an outdoor theater in Connecticut a few years ago and lighting struck while I was singing “You’ve Got to be Carefully Taught”. The stage and audience were under a tent, so the show was still going, although the rain was so hard nobody could hear the voices on stage or the orchestra. So I’m singing the song, praying I’m in the right key because I can’t hear a thing, and as I’m looking to the back of the house, in a field behind the tent, a giant bolt of lightening strikes about 50 feet beyond the back row. Everyone was screaming. It was the loudest thing I’d ever heard. And although nobody was watching me, or paying attention at the time, I’m proud to say that I kept singing through it and somehow finished the song.
Q: What is your dream role?
A: Sunday in the Park with George has had a choke-hold on my heart since the first time I listened to it. And truth be told, the role I identify most with in the show is Dot. But unless anyone does some crazy outside the box casting, that role will probably never happen for me. So I’ll settle on George. Sondheim has always found a way to encapsulate any emotion I’ve ever felt but haven’t known how to express. The whole score of “Sunday” feels like it lives inside me. I would be honored the play any role in that show.
Q: What is your current guilty TV Pleasure?
A: I’ve become hooked on Jane the Virgin. How a show that’s so ridiculous can stay so grounded is an anomaly. I would marry Gina Rodriguez without meeting her.
Thank you Jason- can’t wait to see you on the stage in Beauty and the Beast!
Grace Austin is an STL area educator and director.
See her work at gracemaustin.com.
**DISCLAIMER: The opinions expressed in this post are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of THE SCENE SHOP.