Daniel vanHeyst

Emeritus Professor, Arts and Drama

  • MFA Drama (Design), University of Alberta, 1993
  • BFA Drama (Design), University of Alberta, 1981


Daniel has been teaching at The King's University--and leading the development of the Visual Art, Drama, and Communication Arts programs--since 1993. Trained at Dordt College and The University of Alberta as designer for live theatre, he has designed hundreds of professional, educational, and community shows. Notably, he designed The Canadian Badlands Passion Play in Drumheller, Alberta from its inaugural season in 1994 until 2007.

While resident designer at Edmonton's Theatre Network, he was awarded a Sterling for Outstanding Set Design, and has recently been twice nominated for that award. He is a Past President of Theatre Alberta. 

His research interests are the designer's role in the development of new plays and the application of Christian theological insight to the interpretation and appreciation of visual and performing art. His paintings have been featured in several solo exhibitions and are held in many private collections.

Research interests

  • The designer's role in new play development
  • Community theatre as a community development process
  • Puppetry and improvisation
  • Found and recycled materials in the design/build process for sculpture and design for the stage
  • Painting in acrylics and encaustic media


  • Designing new plays (involving puppetry) with Kompany Family Theatre for school and family audiences
  • Designing Annapurna by Sharr White for Shadow Theatre in Edmonton January 2017, and designing The Hunger Room by Scott Button for Staircase Theatre in Vancouver May 2017.

Recent productions

Alberto the Dancing Alligator by Jan Taylor for Kompany Family Theatre, ATB Financial Arts Barns Nov. 2015.

Freud's Last Session by Mark St. Germaine, director/designer, Edmonton Fringe August 2013, Chemainus Festival Theatre August 2014

Bones in the Stones by Jan Taylor and Richard Link, Kompany Family Theatre, production designer June 2014

The Hunger Room, by Scott Button, in development with Stephen Heatley (UBC), production designer April 2013

Woof and Other Tales of Abigail, by Andrea Ritter,  Kompany Family Theatre, production designer June 2012, 

The Wizard Who Was...or Was Not, Kompany Family Theatre, production designer June 2011

The Canadian Badlands Passion Play, Drumheller, AB, production designer 1994-2008

Should've by Roald Hoffman, (tour: Torino, Italy, Edmonton, Vancouver, Jasper) production designer 2007-2008

At the End of Her Rope by Cheryl Jack, Persephone Theatre Saskatoon, set and costume designer March 2008

Zachary and the Storytelling Stones by Kristin Finlay, Kompany Family Theatre, production designer June 2010