Derek Evans is a professional actor and scholar who has spent a career of almost 40 years engaged in educational presentations for schools, colleges, museums and libraries. He has conservatory training at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco and at New York University and holds bachelors and masters degrees from Northwestern University. He is a veteran of over 40 stage productions in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago and San Francisco.
In addition to his legitimate theatre career, from 1969 to 1988 he wrote, produced and performed in educational programs in association with Chicago’s Urban Gateways. These totaled almost seven thousand performances for more than two million students over a period of twenty years and included Shakespeare, opera and American and British literary adaptations.
Since 1995 he has concentrated on living history presentations on Theodore Roosevelt, which have now totaled over 500 performances. In addition to the usual educational institutions, he has provided made to order presentations for:
- CenterStage!, Seattle, WA;
- The Orange County Performing Arts Center, Costa Mesa, CA;
- Yavapai Community PAC, Prescott, AZ;
- The Chicago Historical Society, Chicago, IL;
- Martin Luther College, New Ulm, MN;
- Arkansas State University, Mountain Home, AR;
- Prairie State College, Chicago Heights, IL;
- Waubonsee Community College, Aurora, IL;
- Lewis University, Romeoville, IL;
- The Grand Opera House, Oshkosh, WI;
- The Ironton Arts Council, Ironton, OH;
- New Hampshire Timberland Owners Association, Concord, NH;
- Lyndon State College, Lyndonville, VT;
- Events Unlimited, Houston, TX;
- The Buffalo Bill Historical Center, Cody, WY; and
- The White House Visitor Center, Washington, DC.
He is a member of the Chicago History Museum and sits on the board of the Theodore Roosevelt Association, Chicago Chapter. He maintains a professional reference library of over 400 volumes with emphasis on Theodore Roosevelt and 19th and early 20th Century American history more generally. These include the complete published works of Theodore Roosevelt as well as Roosevelt’s presidential and gubernatorial papers and correspondence. He also maintains access to original source materials through the archives of Northwestern University, the Houghton Library at Harvard University, the Theodore Roosevelt Association, Dickenson State College, the Chicago History Museum and the Newberry Library.