Shayna is a recent Michael Merritt award winner, in the year 2022. She is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Columbia College Chicago, where she received a B.A in Theatre Production Design & Technology.
I began my career in scenic design because I loved creating miniatures. Creating a model box was my favourite part of the design process. Soon I realised that the reason that I love creating miniatures is because I love paying attention to the smaller details. This is exactly what theatre design needs, attention to smaller detail. Every brush stroke counts, maybe the back row won’t notice it but I like to believe that at least one person in the front row will notice every little element it took to create the set and truly appreciate it.
I believe in truth onstage, but my favourite designs allow me to play with that, to create worlds that the audience feels like they can see themselves having been in or one day being in, but there’s something off, something happening they just can’t pinpoint I believe that the art that I create is more for deeper shows that ask questions, I want to reflect a dilemma. I want to work with artists that want to do the same, they want to question what is happening not only what is happening on stage but what is happening in the audiences minds.
To begin my design process, immediately after reading the script , I look at abstract art that uses the colours, textures, motions that I see fit for the play. I then use what I’m feeling from the play to imagine shape and composition, creating images where images may not exist. I use this process to comprehend my feelings for the play and help me convey that emotion into a set.
THEATRE SCENIC DESIGN
SANCOCHO Vision Latino Theatre Company DIR. XAVIER CUSTODIO
NATIONAL MERIT The Boho Theatre DIR. ENRICO SPADA
HEAD OVER HEELS CCC Courtyard Theatre DIR. DONTERRRIO JOHNSON
LIVIN’ IT UP – MUSICAL THEATRE CCC Courtyard Theatre DIR. AMY UHL
STOP KISS *DESIGN MENTOR CCC Classic Theatre DIR. SYLVIE STAIGER
CONTACT – A CASE STUDY CCC Sheldon Patinkin Theatre / Classrooms DIR. TOMMY RIVERAVEGA
LA CASA AZUL *DESIGN MENTOR CCC Sheldon Patinkin Theatre DIR. ANNIKA KUZ
4.48 PSYCHOSIS CCC Sheldon Patinkin Theatre / Dressing Rooms DIR. ANNIKA KUZ
AMERICAN MENU (CANCELED BY COVID) CCC Studio 404 DIR. DAWN RENEE
LIVIN’ OUT LOUD – MUSICAL THEATRE CCC Courtyard Theatre DIR. AMY UHL
DOG CCC Classic Theatre DIR. ANNIKA KUZ
HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE CCC Classic Theatre DIR. LEO BATAUTIS
OKLAHOMA! *ASSISTANT CCC Studio 404 DESIGNER. DOMINIQUE ZARAGOZA
HARMONY KORINE - FREDO DISCO 2019 PROPS CONSTRUCTOR & DESIGNER DIR. MICHAEL HERRICK
EQUIP SUNGLASSES - HOT MULLIGAN 2020 MAKE UP ARTIST & COSTUME PROP DIR. MICHAEL HERRICK
SCENIC CONSTRUCTION & PAINTER
ALL SHOWS I'VE DESIGNED CHARGE ARTIST
VISUAL SCENE (ENGLAND) SCENIC PAINTER BRETT NAYLOR
COLUMBIA COLLEGE CHICAGO SCENE SHOP WORK AID – CONSTRUCTION & PAINTER GRANT SABIN
LOOKINGGLASS THEATRE CHARGE ARTIST SARAH BURNHAM
THE FACTORY THEATRE CHARGE ARTIST TIMOTHY AMOS
WHERE WE'RE BORN- BOARD OPPERATOR THE DEN THEATRE DIR. MORGAN WRIGLEY
Theatrical Make Up
Puppet Design & Construction
Properties Design and Construction
Miniature Model Making