Jake YenishApril 16, 2020 (Jackson, Miss.) - Accomplished stage and lighting designer Jake Yenish will join the Belhaven University Theatre Department this fall. He will take the role of Belhaven's Assistant Professor of Theatre Design and Production, and instruct students earning a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with an emphasis in production.

“We're thrilled that Jake will be joining us in August,” said Dr. Elissa Sartwell, Chair of Belhaven's Theatre Department. “His design work and his teaching are very much in line with the philosophical approach to theatre training that our department has embraced.”

Yenish has designed sets and lights for close to 100 productions, including 13 world premieres, and 18 annual productions. Some of his designs have included: Metamorphoses by Mary Zimmerman, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, and Blood Wedding by Fredrico Garcia Lorca.

Working in technical theatre, he enjoys the daily challenges and opportunities. “As a designer I have the luxury of working on all kinds of shows, box set comedies, neutral stage drama, large cast musicals, and intimate black box shows,” said Yenish. “In continuing with theme of newness by the time a show has opened I'm ready for the next show and the next challenge.”

He received an M.F.A. in Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University in 2012.
During his graduate work Yenish participated in 24 productions, served as the graduate
representative to the faculty, and completed two internships with the Pacific Conservatory
Theatre in Santa Maria California.

Yenish has taught for two years at Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU) as their Assistant Professor of Theatre Design and Technical Director. He has also served as the state chair for Oklahoma's Kennedy Center American College Theatre. Prior to OBU, he served 11 years as an adjunct professor of theatre at Bethany Lutheran College in Mankato, Minnesota.

It is his desire to train future generations of theatre artists, helping to equip them as theatre practitioners with a Christian Worldview. Yenish observed, “Teaching theatre allows me to help put skills into the hands of students, and considering stagecraft I am literally teaching my students skills they will use with their hands. In the digital age we live in, it can become very easy to forget about competency and skill development.”

Yenish looks forward to being part of a campus community that places high value on the arts. “Belhaven University has a reputation for emphasizing the arts,” he said, adding that he appreciates the University's commitment to “promoting excellence.”