Student Spotlight: Zyee Evans, Star Performer

By Camille Liptak reporter

The beginning of December marked an important shift for PPCC student Zyee Evans.

A veteran sound and lights crew member of Widefield High School theater department, Evans took to the stage in PPCC’s production of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992.

This time, he was lighting it up with his acting chops.

“I wasn’t really on stage as much as I would’ve liked, so I would mostly do sound and stuff,” Evans said of his high school theater career.

Though Evans admits he was often shy about the crew-to-cast-member transition in other productions, that wasn’t the case for the Twilight Los Angeles auditions.

After the Sept. 15th audition, he landed the part of Keith Watson, an otherwise civil character pushed to the breaking point by the Rodney King verdict.

Evans said he was very gung-ho about the chance to act in the play, because the 1992 L.A. riots are part of his family’s personal history.

His family has been residents of Los Angeles for several decades, and Evans’s grandmother was in the city during the time of the 1992 riots. She lived in the heart of the action, when the racial tension had reached a breaking point.

And the family and history connection goes even further.

His uncle went to high school with Watson. A fact that helped Evans enrich his performance in the play.

Sadly though, Evans drew on much of his own experience with racial profiling to help with his portrayal of Watson.

“I get stopped by the cops all the time. This year, I have been stopped like, 12 times. As much as I would love to say ‘oh yeah, I know the LA riots’, I was not a part of it. I don’t know the actual thing, but I can understand the purpose of the riots. This is how I feel constantly, just like, under a microscope,” Evans said.

Even amidst those challenges, the PPCC freshman student has managed to keep his eye on a longed-for theatre prize: acting.

Evans came to PPCC this August with an initial plan to study history and directing, but he quickly decided to shift his studies to the subject he loved the most.

“I’m good at acting. It’s what I like. I like it more than history,” Evans said.

He plans to pursue his bachelor’s or master’s degree in Drama, and later pursue his other creative passions, which include poetry, writing, and directing.

Evans is currently working on a fantasy podcast with friends, which he hopes will launch in January or February of next year.

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