This archived article was written by: Benjamin Waldon
With 76-plus productions at the College of Eastern Utah and 150-plus productions around the state in its history, members of The Utah Theatre Association presented an award of appreciation last weekend in St. George to CEU’s Grady McEvoy.
Born in Delta, Utah, McEvoy spent most of his youth in Dugway. He earned an associate’s degree at Snow College, moved to Utah State University to get his bachelor’s of fine arts degree and completing his education in Idaho where he earned his master’s degree in theatre. McEvoy is influenced in both his design, directing and acting from many different role models and icons.
Teaching and theater were not always the objectives of McEvoy, but another love was before them, music was to be his major. College soon came and another major caught his eye, that of theater. He said many of the inspirations for theater that he shared involved the activity of problem solving.
The ways in which he could control the emotion with the way the sets were arranged and created and the way the lights would function, arranged themselves like one big problem in which McEvoy was ready and willing to solve. He said, being a tutor for the geology students at Snow College is what had set off his emotions to want to become a teacher.
The two had come together when he spotted out the ability to have them both in one package. That package was to be a teacher at Snow College.
McEvoy started his career at Snow College and taught there for about four years before someone recommended to him that he should apply for a position at CEU.
Thinking about, and seeing that it would be a good idea, he applied, wondering if he would actually attain the job. After getting the job, McEvoy moved to Price in 1987 where he worked with longtime CEU theater director Lee Johnson. He has been involved in plays at CEU ever since.
McEvoy is designing the set for Macbeth. He stated that he not only gets his ideas, “from the director’s vision,” but also from “the feeling of the show.”
Even though the theater department is looked at as one of the best departments on campus, it is still not perfect, and there are still goals that the department is trying to reach.
The long-range goals for CEU’s theater department, in which McEvoy would like to reach, is CEU needs to return “to a larger staff, which includes a costumer and more tech staff so that the department will serve the students better.”
They also plan on constructing a new building so that they can bring all of the fine art majors under one roof. He said, “the theater department needs to function more than just form.”
Through his love for theater and teaching, McEvoy has become a role model for many and has proven to himself to be “a strong positive influence on educational theater,” said the Utah Theatre Association.
Going on 23 years of teaching in the area of fine arts, plus receiving one of the most honorable awards in this area in which only three individuals and organizations in the state received, he accepted the award with pride last weekend as he talked about the people in which deserve the credit for this part of who he is. “We are the product of people before us,” McEvoy said.
For all of the theater majors, the one thing that McEvoy had to say as a word of advice, “Theater is a job; it’s one of the best jobs in the world. Many had come to me in the past saying that it was much more work than they thought it was going to be, but nothing is more rewarding than putting in all of the hard work and getting a really good show!”