The large room is barely lit as groups of people sit waiting for what is to come.
They watch as music picks up volume and tempo and at last, a light shines over a stage.
The people applaud and slowly become absorbed in the show put on in front of them.
It is in this moment Garrett Evans feels most alive.
Evans started acting in small grade school productions but soon moved to community theater, where his roles and the productions were far different.
Most of these performances took place in musical theater.
“My first role was in ‘Jesus Christ Superstar.’ We put it on in my Community Theater when I was in 6th grade,” Evans said.
The transition from community theater to Mercyhurst College was not difficult for Evans, who always loved being on stage, the focus of an audience’s attention.
“We don’t have a theater major offered here, so most of this is all student run. It’s extracurricular so you’re not graded on it, and the people doing it are doing it because they want to have fun, not because they think they’ll end up on Broadway,” Evans said.
He also likes that the audition process is less stressful.
He thinks it helps that no one treats it as a life or death situation.
While in college, Evans has played many parts. “Freshman year, I got Conrad Birdie in ‘Bye Bye Birdie.’ I was pretty surprised I got the lead,” Evans said.
Other roles he has played include The Cat in the Hat during “Seussical” and Daddy Brubeck in the production of “Sweet Charity.”
Asked what his favorite role is, Evans said, “It was a fun character, but I worked at Waldameer Park the last two summers, and I’ll always have a special place in my heart for my days as Wally Bear.”
A senior, Evans hopes to play several more parts in the future, and he hopes that he will still be performing after Mercyhurst College.
Going along with this, Evans will participate in the musical theater production of “Sweeney Todd” this spring.
He is looking forward to having fun on stage with his cast members, but he is not sure what part he would prefer. Just being cast would be enough.
Whether the light shines on him or his fellow actors is of little concern to Evans.
“I like to be center stage. Most actors are going to say that to you, but I’ve played characters that don’t get the spotlight for large parts of the show and still have had a lot of fun with them,” Evans said.
Evans believes that just being on stage and watching as the crowd becomes immersed in a story makes all the time and effort worthwhile.