Clockwise from top left: Nunsense, directed by Ruben Van Kempen, 2012; Antigone, directed by Andrew Ryder, 2004; The Elephant Man, directed by James Chapman, 2001; Much Ado About Nothing, directed by George Scranton, 2012.
Compare these models with production photos.
“I’m a minimalist, really,” says Don Yanik, professor of theatre in Seattle Pacific University’s Theatre Department. “I tell my students in my scene design class, you start with what you need. If you need a table, that’s where you start. You don’t start with the walls.”
Since he joined SPU’s faculty in 1985, Yanik has designed sets and costumes for 170 Seattle Pacific theatre productions — and for 150 professional productions at theatre companies such as Seattle’s
Repertory Theatre, A Contemporary Theatre, Taproot Theatre, and Civic Light Opera.
He builds these ¼-inch scale models of his set designs to show directors an early vision for the look and feel of a production.
Each of the several dozen maquettes stacked to the ceiling in his McKinley Hall office is a window into the productions that have graced the Seattle Pacific stage for almost 30 years — while Yanik
has watched from the back row nearly every night and matinee.