Diversity In Design Q&A Scholarships: Darius Evans
October 30, 2023
Article by Hannah Kinnersley
One of three recipients for this year's Pat MacKay Diversity In Design Scholarships, Darius Evans, is studying technical theatre and lighting design at Boston University, class of 2027. He talked to Live Design about his goals for a career in theatre, his influences, and challenges facing young people in the industry.
Live Design: Why brought you to this scholarship?
Darius Evans: I applied to the Pat MacKay Diversity In Design Scholarship because it appealed to me as I am passionate about spreading diversity in an industry where I haven’t seen much. I also wanted a scholarship for technical theater because it is something I am passionate about.
LD: What drew you to design?
DE: I have always been interested in technical theater; I even went to a performing arts high school called Academy for Performing Arts in New Jersey for technical theater. But what interested me in lighting design was the Studio School of Design High School intensive program by MarkStanley and Clifton Taylor. This program was my first introduction to lighting design and all the different opportunities that it entails.
LD: What are some of your career goals?
DE: There are so many things that I want to do in my career. I want to design a Broadway show, go on tour with a show, work in a rental house, and eventually become a teacher so that I can do what my tech theaters did for me, for others. I want my career to inspire other black children who want to learn about design. I would like to make design a more accessible career for young minority children and help raise the next generation in the industry.
LD: How can the industry better serve underrepresented communities?
DE: There is no one solution to the problem of underrepresentation in the theater industry, but one way to help serve these communities would be to tell their stories and tell them in their communities. If told stories that people in other communities can relate to, they would start to feel the love we all have for theater as well. Giving a voice to others where they live makes the performance more accessible and serves them better than telling the story where they have to leave their communities to hear it.
In terms of design, the industry needs to do more regarding outreach. Most people don’t know about technical theater, especially underrepresented communities, so offering free classes and events at a school would help expose those communities to a different side of theater and live entertainment.
LD: Who or what are your influences in terms of people or events?
DE: I have a few influences; my first are my parents because they have supported my
technical theater adventures. They showed me that it's okay to chase my dreams and that if I
really want something I should go after it. In terms of lighting design, my influences are the
designers and teachers who have helped me get to where I am now.
LD: What challenges have you faced?
DE: I face challenges with design every day. Since coming to college, I have been forced to think
differently and convey my thoughts in a way that my peers can understand. The first time I
can remember being faced with this challenge was at Studio School of Design, where I had to learn
how to express color through words, collaborate with my peers and decide which colors would
be most appropriate for our design.
LD: Do you have a bucket list item?
DE: My number one bucket list item is winning a Tony Award for lighting design!
The Pat MacKay Diversity In Design Scholarships
Three outstanding high school seniors, Darius Evans, Deandra Bromfield, and Alyssa Gil-Pujols, have been awarded the 2023 Pat MacKay Diversity In Design Scholarships, which are presented annually in partnership with TSDCA and USITT. The scholarships are funded by LDI and Live Design to support students from underrepresented backgrounds in the field of entertainment design.