Charles Evans was the very first theatre arts professor at the newly named Mesa Community College in 1966. Charles directed productions in venues on and off campus. A one-man show, he was the producer, director, teacher, production manager, and technical supervisor. More than 30 productions took the stage over his decades at MCC. The Navajo Room presented many shows until 1970 when the “stage” moved to a temporary wooden structure. In 1978 the Theatre Outback opened the doors to a permanent, professional theatre facility.
In speech, English, and theatre classes, Charles mentored hundreds of students in his three decades at MCC. Professional careers were launched with the technical skills developed working in the scene shop. He also served the college as chair of the Speech, Communication and Theatre Arts Department multiple times, as well as chair of the Art Department for two years. He was Faculty Senate president and a member of that body for many years.
A true creative, Charles has written plays, TV scripts, and a novel. In 1994 he retired to take care of family back in Kansas where he continued to work, direct, and act in community theatre. Always the educator, he taught in a local high school.
His real world experiences were priceless to his students. Charles was part of a number of community theatre arts groups as well as the Mesa Little Theatre and Tempe Little Theatre. He portrayed Abraham Lincoln with a Glendale Civil War Reenactment group and went on tour in England performing in the British Royal Tournament. His legacy looms large in Mesa, including being on City of Mesa committees that ultimately developed the Mesa Arts Center.
For a link to the full video of the ceremony, please visit MCC Hall of Fame 2022.