Rachel Graf Evans

Rachel Graf Evans (b. 1990) is an American playwright, actor and singer.  Her plays include Respair, Randi & Roxanne, Pheromone and Cherished.  She is a member of the Dramatists Guild and a recipient of the 2022 David Shelton Award.  In addition, Graf Evans has served as the Resident Teaching Artist in the Alleghany Highlands Lighthouse Project.  She has also performed with the Sirens of Gotham, a barbershop quartet. 

Graf Evans comes from an old Quaker family, who emigrated from England to Philadelphia in the 1600’s.  She is a member of Westtown Meeting and worships currently at Roanoke Meeting.  As a teen, she attended Baltimore Yearly Meeting’s Catoctin Camp, participated in the Lobbying Weekends for Friends Committee on National Legislation and took part in Westtown School’s Quaker Leadership Program.  Graf Evan’s article “To the Heart of It: New Theatre & Quaker Clearness Committees” looks at a possible Friends contribution to dramaturgy.  She notes that her path as an artist was complicated by a Friendly suspicion of individualism and competitiveness.  She also observes, however, that her path was simplified by the Friendly values of welcoming the Light and experiencing community.

When the Lights Gets Loud, a play by Graf Evans, recounts the story of Lucretia Watts, a 12-year-old Quaker girl, who feels led to sing during Meeting for Worship.  It is 1890, and music is unacceptable during worship.  In response, Friends hold an “Exploratory Committee Meeting with a Concern for Discerning True Ministry Amidst Melodic Disruption in the Worship Space”.  The Exploratory Committee ends up deciding that Lucretia is rightly led.  An Exploratory Committee of Quaker children, called together by Lucretia, also gathers and supports her. 

Rachel Graf Evans is a gifted artist.  Her play When the Light Gets Loud is especially delightful.  I expect great things from her!

For more information on her work: www.rachelgrafevans.com.

Gary Sandman

October 2023

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