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May 3rd – Michael Merritt Awards & Designer Showcase

April 24, 2010 By: Nick Keenan Category: Chicago Theater, Community Building

Yup. Still here. Still cooking. Big news on the horizon, no less.

One of the things that’s cooking is coming up quick – on May 3rd 5pm at the Goodman, there’s a big ol’ exposition and awards ceremony of the work done by theatrical designers in Chicago. Perhaps you’ve heard of it: The Michael Merritt Awards.

Several designers will be honored at the ceremony (notably set designer Collette Pollard who will be receiving the Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award, and a celebration of the work of lighting and set designer Michael Philippi who passed away suddenly this year)

My personal favorite bit of the event is the huge designer showcase, where dozens of designers in the Chicago area will display their portfolios to the artistic leadership of the city.

Interested? I know am. Check out the press release details below if you’d like to either present your own work or check out some great designers to hire. Oh, and it’s on facebook, too.

The 17th Annual Merritt Award for Excellence in Design and Collaboration program, posthumously honoring and celebrating the work of lighting and set designer Michael Philippi (Desire Under the Elms, Death of a Salesman), “an esteemed longtime collaborator and friend”, will take place on Monday, May 3, at the Goodman Theatre.

Scenic designer Collette Pollard (The Illusion, Stoop Stories) will receive The Michael Maggio Emerging Designer Award. There will also be a presentation of three student scholarship recipients representing The Theatre School of DePaul University (scenic designer Williams G. Wever), Northwestern University (costume designer Jeremy Floyd) and from Columbia College Chicago for The John Murbach Scholarship for Collaborative Design (lighting designer Wade Holliday).

The doors open at 5 p.m., with a viewing of the fourth annual ‘Theater Design Expo’, showcasing the works of over 50 Chicago-area emerging theatrical designers and a portfolio review of graduating design students from some of the finest programs in the country.

Goodman Theatre’s Artistic Director Robert Falls, a founding member of the Michael Merritt Endowment Fund Steering Committee, will lead a panel discussion from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. about the Goodman’s experiences working with Michael Philippi in recent times and during Bob’s past tenure as fledgling artistic director of Chicago’s Wisdom Bridge Theatre Company. Philippi’s design collaborators Michael Bodeen (Composer, Sound Designer), John Boesche (Projection Designer) and Ana Kuzmanic (Costume Designer) will join in the dialogue. Nathan Allen, Artistic Director of The House Theatre of Chicago, Dixie Uffleman, Steppenwolf Theatre Company’s Production Supervisor, and House Theatre Designer and this year’s Emerging Designer Award recipient, Collette Pollard, will also bring their perspectives on creating and sustaining a new theatre company in Chicago, then and now.

The awards presentation will begin at 8 p.m. Attendees will enjoy a Chicago style supper buffet by Conn’s Catering complete with beer, wine and soda from start to finish until 10 p.m. Tickets/Exhibitor Fees are $20 per person and $5 for students. For ticket reservations, phone (312) 369-6105 (credit card orders are accepted) AND email to reserve an exhibit space.

The Goodman Theatre is centrally located in Chicago’s Loop at 170 North Dearborn Street, in close proximity to I-55, I-90/94, I-290 and Lake Shore Drive, as well as all major CTA rail lines and many bus routes. Discounted parking is available for $19 at the Government Center Self Park, located directly adjacent to the theatre at the southeast corner of Clark and Lake Streets, and parking coupons will be available at the registration table in the Goodman Theatre lobby.

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