Faculty Profile

Don Yanik

Don Yanik

Professor Emeritus of Theatre

Email: zeke@spu.edu

Education: BA, Anderson College, 1964; MEd, University of Nebraska, 1970; MFA, Southern Methodist University, 1981. Joined SPU faculty 1985. Retired 2014.

Don Yanik studied under designers Forrest A. Newlin, William and Jean Eckart, and Ming Cho Lee at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. After receiving his MFA in theatre and costume design, he served as head of theatre design at the University of Arkansas from 1981 to 1983.

The former chair of the Theatre Department, Mr. Yanik is a member of United Scenic Artists/IATSE Local 829. He designs locally, nationally, and internationally. His design credits, comprising more than 300 productions, include eight world premieres, two U.S. premieres, and several Northwest premieres. Specific credits include the following:

  • A commissioned work, According to Coyote, by John Kauffman, for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, which appeared at the Moscow Theatre Director’s Festival (Russia), Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Minneapolis Children’s Theatre Company, two world tours, and numerous regional theatres.
  • Productions for the Honolulu Theatre for Youth, the Burt Reynolds Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, and several theatres and universities in Indiana, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Florida.

Mr. Yanik’s Seattle design credits include the following:

  • The world premiere of Things Being What They Are, by Wendy MacLeod
  • A Delicate Balance, for the Seattle Repertory Theatre
  • The world premiere of Jar the Floor, by Cheryl L. West
  • The West Coast premiere of David Mamet’s Speed the Plow, for The Empty Space Theatre
  • The U.S. Premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s Invisible Friends, for the Seattle Children’s Theatre
  • Productions at ACT, Seattle Civic Light Opera, Taproot Theatre, and Village Theatre

His directing credits consist of 10 Backstage Theatre productions, including several children’s operas.

A Fulbright scholar who taught at the National Institute for the Arts in Taipei, Taiwan, he served as the restoration designer for The Kilns, C.S. Lewis’ home in Oxford, England. He designed productions of The Screwtape Letters and Lost in the Universe for the C.S. Lewis Summer Institute in Cambridge, England.

Mr. Yanik teaches courses in scene design and technical drawing, costume and period styles, scene painting, and stage makeup, and serves as producing director/manager for all SPU productions.

Please view Mr. Yanik’s CV (PDF) for additional publications.

Don Yanik - Why I Teach

Why I Taught at SPU

Don Yanik, Professor Emeritus of Theatre

“I believe that I was called to teach Theatre at SPU. I enjoy interacting with the students as they discover the connections between the written requirements of a script and the appropriate design choices made to help tell the story of the play.”