Edward Marcus (known as Marc) Cohen, age 75, a theater design director who created productions for the Goodman theater, managed the renovation of the Illinois Institute of Technology and worked on production design for Chicago television stations and the Field Museum, died Saturday, May 25, 2013 at his North Side Chicago home.
He was born July, 30, 1937 in Corsicana, Texas to Samuel and Pearl Cohen. He attended school in Corsicana and graduated high school in Tyler. Growing up, Cohen was known as “Eddie” to family and friends.
Mr. Cohen was preceded in death by his parents Pearl Grossman Cohen and Samuel Cohen.
He is survived by two sons, Todd of Chicago, Ill. and Shawn of Port Jefferson, N.Y.; and four grandchildren.
Mr. Cohen’s death came after a six-month battle with T-Cell Lymphoma. In his 40 year career, his work encompassed all aspects of theater and design from business manager to technical director and teacher.
At the Goodman Theater he designed productions of Oh What a Lovely War, A Flea in Her Ear, Heartbreak House, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, Measure for Measure as well as the world premiere production of Tennessee William’s The Eccentricities of a Nightingale. Mr. Cohen also taught lighting, design, set design and directing at the University of Cincinnati.
From 2006 to 2010 he was project manager for the renovation project at IIT which included installation of information technology, a total mechanical upgrade and upgrading of the school’s classrooms and laboratories. And from 1998 to 2005 he was also project manager at Evanston based Cath Associates where he made sure ongoing construction projects were in compliance with plans and specifications, chiefly for the Field Museum.
Since his retirement, Mr. Cohen became involved in sprint triathlons and worked with various community theater groups applying his expertise with as much attention as he gave to larger well known theater organizations.
“Marc was a brilliant set designer for last summer’s production of Sabrina Fair building this beautiful background and stage for our actors. He was insightful, diligent and lots of fun to work with,’’ said Donna Lubow, artistic director for Theatre(cq) in the Woods, a not-for-profit community theater project sponsored by the north suburban village of Riverwoods.
A member of United Scenic Artists of America, Mr. Cohen held a bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Texas and a Master of Fine Arts from Yale University.
“Marc loved everything about the theater world. He was a devoted Shakespeare fan and attended every production he could whether in Chicago, New York or Stratford,” said Jill Leslie Drell, a close friend of many years who was with Mr. Cohen when he died.
Mr. Cohen was also an oenephile, with a collection of fine wines from around the world and served as wine steward for the Chicago chapter of L’Ordre des Canardiers, a dining club based in Normandy, France.
“He loved the taste of an excellent vintage and traveled everywhere from Argentina to France to find great wines,” said attorney Brett August, founder of the Chicago chapter of L’Ordre des Canardiers.
Graveside services are planned for Thursday, May 30, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Hebrew Cemetery in Corsicana with Rabbi Joseph officiating.
An online guestbook is available at www.corleyfuneralhome.com and selecting the Edward Marc Cohen obituary.
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