Distance Not a Problem to Design the Set of "Bat Boy: The Musical"

Tuesday, March 19, 2024
Bat Boy Set and cast
Teena Sauvola, a Viterbo alum now living in Los Angeles, designed the set for the recent student production of "Bat Boy: The Musical" in the LaCroix Black Box Theatre


Teena Sauvola ’08 earned her BFA in theatrical design. She started her career as a theatrical set designer and worked her way into the themed entertainment industry. She lives in Los Angeles and works as a theme park designer. "I currently do design and art direction work for major theme parks across the globe. The biggest confusion is that people think I design rollercoasters, but I'm an artist and designer, not an engineer," she explained. "In my current role, I am working on laying out entire theme parks from what's called a "master planning" point of view. This is where a theme park starts," Sauvola said. She is part of a team that ensures there are enough rides, restaurants, shops, restrooms, and first-aid locations to keep nearly 60,000 people entertained and safe for an entire day in a park.

Teena Sauvola
Teena Sauvola ’08

Computers plus the love for her alma mater made it easy to return to her roots to design the set of Bat Boy: The Musical. Sauvola explained that she keeps in touch with many of her professors, and expressed to them that she wanted to design a show at the La Croix Black Box Theatre. “It’s one of my favorite spaces,” she said. “They were very kind in helping make that happen. It was lovely to be back on campus and in La Crosse. It was such a formative part of my life.”

“Almost everything I did for Bat Boy was done on the computer using programs like Photoshop, Sketchup, and AutoCAD,” Sauvola explained. “I even ventured into using some artificial intelligence to help me with some things. AI is going to be the next big change for designers, it can’t be ignored.”

Sauvola returned to La Crosse for the first time in 15 years with the 2023 production of The Pirates of Penzance at La Crosse’s Weber Center for the Performing Arts, where she was also set designer.

Teena Sauvola Disney
Teena Sauvola at Disneyland.