Lise "Kat" Evans '01
I graduated from Calvin in 2001 and headed to Ohio State University to do a masters in theatre, including history, dramatic literature & criticism. I specialized in Latina theatre and wrote my thesis on the plays of Caridad Svich, a Cuban-American playwright. During my masters, I traveled to Cuba (legally) for an arts exchange, presented at the Hemispheric Institute of Performance and Politics 2002 Encuentro "Spectacles of Religiosities" as well as the Association for Theatre in Higher Education conference, and also published a small theatre review in Theatre Journal, and completed the first draft of what would become my award winning full length play Play on a Battleground and a one-woman show on the life of Annie Oakley which I performed as part of the Ohio Bicentennial Celebration in Lima, Ohio. I taught Introduction to Theatre for my department both years of the program.
I stayed at Ohio State continuing on with a master of fine arts in acting. This program focuses on the creation of new work. During this three year terminal degree, I performed in a myriad of theatre department shows including the opera Candide (role of Paquette), Pentecost (role of Cleopatra), Measure For Measure (roles of Claudio and Elbow), The Rocky Horror Show (role of Transylvanian) and The Cradle Will Rock (role of Moll). My thesis was to write and perform in a community outreach show with my 9 colleagues. Our chosen community was the domestic violence shelter Turning Point and we wrote our play based on our workshops with the residents there as well as interviews with the staff and research on the topic of domestic violence. In the spring of 2005, I participated in Student Advocates for the Arts, affiliated with Ohio Citizens for the Arts and Americans for the Arts, lobbying on Capitol Hill for funding for the National Endowment for the Arts. I made arts advocacy of my areas of specialization for my general exams. My acting specialty was voice work and by the end of my degree I taught Introduction to Dialects, as well as Principles of Acting. I continued performing my show on Annie Oakley and also received the first prize in the Playworks 2005 competition given by the Association for Theatre in Higher Education. I also starred in and co-wrote a play called The History of Stripping, which was student-produced at Ohio State.
After graduating in June of 06, I auditioned all over the country and after many callbacks (27 to be exact) I finally landed my first post-school gig as part of the school tour of the Human Race Theatre in Dayton (in collaboration with The Muse Machine), which was a show based on the works of Mark Twain. After this gig finished, I headed to Chicago and landed my third audition, which was the musical My Favorite Year at the Bailwick. I then did an internship with Tenner, Paskal, & Rudnicke Casting (fellow Calvin alumnus Matt Miller is a full time casting director there). In the summer of '07 I took The History of Stripping to the Toronto Fringe Festival. In the fall of '07 I played a mob boss' ex-girlfriend in a new black comedy called Dangerface #3 with Hermit Arts. I then returned to the Bailiwick for the midwest premiere of BARE: A POP OPERA, which is musical about homosexual relationships within the Catholic church. In the spring and summer of '08 I performed in Disney's Aladdin Jr. with Emerald City Theatre Company at the Apollo Theatre, playing Princess Jasmine. I am currently rehearsing The Three Penny Opera (role of Lucy Brown) with The Hypocrites Theatre Company which will play at the Steppenwolf Garage. Fellow Calvin alumna Kristina Johnson is also in the show.
Advice for aspiring actors
Truth comes in all kinds of frequencies, volumes, shapes, sizes, and mediums. Finding truth (and it's even more difficult counterpart, accepting truth), in moments, in situations, in feelings, is difficult and requires a constantly growing and changing practice—but it truly will set you free. And when your world gets turned upside down, remember that really it's God's world, not yours.