Dutchess County Executive's Arts Awards 2022
Robert Denny Evaul
Robert Denny Evaul has maintained a lifelong interest in theater, that started in grade school and continued through college.
After he and his wife Rosemary married in 1969, she became involved with the Masque and Mime Society at Roy C. Ketcham in High School in Wappingers Falls.
“I figured I better get involved if I ever wanted to see her,” Robert said with a laugh. “That led to my position as technical advisor to the Masque and Mime set and running crews, a position I have held for over 25 years.”
A native of Schenectady, Rosemary Evaul’s love of theater began when twin aunts took her, as a child, to Schenectady Light Opera Company productions. Also, an uncle enrolled her in dance classes.
“When I was younger, I wanted to be a dress designer, but a practical guidance counselor said that was too competitive a field,” Rosemary said. “I chose something more practical—I became an English teacher. But in each of my teaching jobs, I managed to get involved with theater. I even taught theater as well. And in focusing mainly on costumes, there is a little of that dream come true of being a dress (costume) designer.”
Rosemary taught English at Burnt Hills-Ballston Spa Middle School in the Capital Region, then moved to Poughkeepsie and taught at Haviland Junior High School in Hyde Park and Ketcham High School in Wappingers Falls, where the couple lives now.
At each school, Rosemary was involved with directing or producing theater. She retired in 1997, but continued to work in theater with The Masque and Mime Society at Ketcham; the Queen City Stage Company; Marist College; and County Players at the Fall Theater in Wappingers Falls.
In 1984, she was one of the founding members of the New York State Theatre Education Association, whose goal is to further the study of educational theater across the state. And Rosemary maintains a barn in her backyard—The Evaul Emporium—that is full of costumes available for local schools and theater groups to borrow.
“The arts are life,” she said. “So, of course, they are important for us to live more fully and appreciate all that life has to offer.”
Is there any wonder that the Evauls are being honored with the 2022 Dutchess County Executive’s Arts Awards for Patron?
Asked for her reaction to receiving the award, Rosemary said, “Shock, elation, surprise, immense pride. And the fact that my husband shares this honor with me makes it really special. He has always been a super-supportive spouse. But the fact that we work together for the same organization makes us a team.”
Robert has been involved with Roy C. Ketcham theater, assisting in varying degrees, since 1971. He has served continuously as a technical advisor since retiring from IBM in 1996; and was an Actors’ Equity Stage Manager for Queen City Stage Company in the 1990’s, helping to produce at least one show a year.
Asked about the difference that the arts can make in the community, Robert said, “It is hard for me to describe, but the three A’s come to mind—Athletics enhance the body; Academia enhances the mind; and the Arts enhance the soul. We provide a safe environment for theater students; have organized many trips to see Broadway shows; and take students to the annual NYSTEA conference. Hopefully, we have positively affected many students over the years.”
Asked about the Dutchess County arts community, Rosemary said, “There are so many good opportunities for artists to share their work, and do what they do best.”