Even as the moon wanes in the wee hours of the morning, you might still find Evelyn Tyler joyfully buzzing around backstage. Tyler feels theater is interwoven with her DNA whether she’s starting on a new prop or organizing the costume shop.
As an Assistant Professor of Theater at Florida A& M University, she dons many hats both onstage and offstage as a “theater generalist,” with a list of duties that spans from acting to photography to event planning.
Recently, she’s stepped into her newest role as director of the FAMU Essential Theatre’s workshop production of “Sing On, Ms. Griot.” FAMU’s own professor and playwright, Beth Turner, wrote the production, which will show from Nov. 2-4, and Tyler is excited for the chance to restage the newly updated script. “Dr. Turner presented the script to the faculty three years ago,” says Tyler. “I read it and loved it. I voiced an interest of wanting to stage it, and I knew I would, I just waited for opportunity.”
Tyler became smitten with the theater world as a child growing up in South Carolina. Her late father, a pianist, singer, and composer, alongside her mother, a culinary artist and baker, provided her with many artistic outlets. Tyler’s first performance was at age three in a tap dance number. The “acting bug” bit her hard in sixth grade however, and from high school through college, theater became her main focus.
She graduated from South Carolina State University with a BA in Theater Studies, and earned her MFA from the University of Central Florida. For three years Tyler was a performing artist and supervisor in Orlando’s biblical theme park, The Holy Land Experience. She most enjoyed the passion plays, as well as working in the children’s area teaching and writing guests’ names in hieroglyphics.
All the while, Tyler quietly cultivated her many interests inside the theater, arts, and crafts worlds. She arrived in Tallahassee in 2010, and started working at FAMU as an adjunct professor teaching introductory classes. Soon thereafter, she began volunteering for jobs that fulfilled her interests, and blossomed in the multi-faceted position she holds today.
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