Designer, director and landscape painter, based in Edmonton, Alberta, who has designed sets and lights for hundreds of professional, educational, and community theatre productions. Daniel Van Heyst has a BFA Drama (Design) from the University of Alberta (1981), and an MFA Drama (Design) from the University of Alberta (1993).
Between 1981 and 1991, he was resident designer for Theatre Network, and collaborated with Stephen Heatley on thirty premieres, including Rig by Geoffrey Le Boutillier (1981); Working Title by Edward Connell and Stephen Heatley (1984); Walt and Roy by Michael McKinlay (1985); The Big Sell by Lyle Victor Albert (1986); Your Wildest Dreams. by Marianne Copithorne and Murray McCune (1986); David for Queen by John Lazarus (1988); The Other Side of the Pole by Edward Connell, Marney Heatley and Stephen Heatley (1990); and Good Government by James Barmby (1991). In June 2017, Van Heyst designed Heatley’s premiere of The Hunger Room by Scott Button at UBC’s Staircase Theatre in Vancouver.
Van Heyst was resident designer of the Canadian Badlands Passion Play in Drumheller from its inaugural season in 1994 until 2008. Six of his recent shows have been for Kompany Family Theatre including Alberto the Dancing Alligator (2014), which received a Elizabeth Sterling Haynes Award.
For Shadow Theatre he designed set and lights for Annapurna; and the detailed exteriors/interiors of two Irish cottages for Outside Mullingar (March 2018), which won a Sterling Award. Critic Liz Nicholls lauded his outstanding set for Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, as a "A beautiful, comfy, bookish sort of prof house" (12th Night.ca 2019/05/03). His mid-West home interior for The Roommate (Shadow 2019) was convincingly evocative of woman's stalemated life. For the 2022 production of Cottagers and Indians by Drew Hayden Taylor, he designed a lake full of wild rice with a canoe in which the "Indian" sits and a dock with a Muskoka chair for the "Cottager."
He directed Freud’s Last Session by Mark St. Germaine for the 2013 Edmonton Fringe Festival, which was remounted in 2014 at Chemainus Theatre Festival, and in 2017 at Fire Exit Theatre in Calgary.
Van Heyst was an Associate Professor at The King’s University from 1993 to 2016, and a head of the drama and visual art programs. His landscape paintings have been featured in several solo shows.
Profile by Anne Nothof, Athabasca University
Last updated 2022-10-25