Michael Philippi Models

Dates: 1990-1991
Size: 1.5 linear feet in 1 box, includes 2 models
Repository: Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center, Special Collections, 400 S. State Street, Chicago, IL 60605
Collection number: spe.t00072
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated by Miriam Hack in 2017
Conditions governing use: Please consult staff to determine ability to reuse materials from collection
Conditions governing access: Materials are open without restrictions
Physical location: Materials are stored offsite and advance notice is required for use. Please request materials at least 24-hours prior to your research visit to coordinate access.
Preferred citation: When quoting material from this collection the preferred citation is: Michael Philippi Models, Special Collections, Chicago Public Library
Finding aid author: Processed by Sarah Zimmerman, 2017. Updated and ingested into ArchivesSpace by Sarah Zimmerman, 2021.


Michael Philippi worked on stages nationwide and in Chicago. Collection includes two partial set models for productions staged at Goodman Theatre.


Michael Philippi (1951-2009) was born in Appleton, Wis. where he began creating set designs at a young age at James Madison Junior High School. He later attended the University of Wisconsin, and worked as a professional scenic and lighting designer for theaters nationwide in addition to teaching lighting design at DePaul University.

Much of his work was realized on the stages of Chicago theaters including Northlight, Court, Remains, St. Nicholas, Chicago Opera and Chicago Shakespeare, as well as other Midwest regionals. At Wisdom Bridge Theatre, he worked with director Robert Falls where his scenic and lighting designs earned him Jeff Awards for Terra Nova (1984) and In the Belly of the Beast (1983).

He continued his work with Falls and others on numerous productions at the Goodman Theatre including Desire Under the Elms, Death of a Salesman and The Speed of Darkness, all of which transferred to Broadway. Other Goodman credits include King Lear, Finishing the Picture, A Life in the Theatre, Heartbreak House, Blue Surge, Boy Gets Girl, Somebody Else’s House, On the Open Road and Pal Joey.

Philippi’s successful designs earned him multiple Jeff Award nominations and wins. He was also the recipient of two Hollywood Drama-Logue Awards.

Scope and Contents

The Michael Philippi Models consist of two partial set models for productions staged at the Goodman Theatre in Chicago.


Models are listed chronologically.

Related Materials

  • Candlelight Dinner Playhouse / Forum Theater Records
  • Goodman Theatre Archive
  • Northlight Theater Records
  • Organic Theater Company Records
  • Nicholas Theatre Records
  • Wisdom Bridge Theater Records
  • Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research, Madison, Wis. (Philippi’s papers and the majority of his records are housed in Madison at the University of Wisconsin.)

Subject Headings

  • Goodman Theatre (Chicago, Ill.)
  • Philippi, Michael – Archives.
  • Theaters – Models – Illinois – Chicago.
  • Theaters – Stage-setting and Scenery – Illinois – Chicago.
  • Stage Lighting Designers – Illinois – Chicago.
  • Set Designers – Illinois – Chicago.

Collection Inventory

Box 1 Artifact 2017.82 Set model, The Iceman Cometh, Act 3, 2 pieces and detached furniture and props, mixed media. Set designed by John Conklin. Philippi was associate set designer for this production, circa 1990
Box 1 Artifact 2017.81 Set model, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, 3 pieces, mixed media. Set designed by Michael Philippi, circa 1991
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