Patricia Zipprodt

Costume designer, Design instructor, Waitress
One of the most well-respected and prolific costume designers of the American stage, Patricia Zipprodt racked up 10 Tony Award nominations and three wins over a long and distinguished career. While there were the ... Read more »
Born: 02/23/1925 in Chicago, Illinois, USA

Filmography

Wardrobe, Hair & Makeup (10)

Into the Woods 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Costume Department

Il Barbiere di Siviglia 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Costume Designer

Tannhauser 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Costumes

1776 1972 (Movie)

(Costume Designer)

Last of the Mobile Hot-Shots 1970 (Movie)

(Costume Designer)

The Graduate 1967 (Movie)

(Costume Designer)

Annie: the Women in the Life of a Man (TV Show)

Costume Designer

June Moon (TV Show)

Costume Designer

Sunday in the Park With George (TV Show)

Costumes

The Glass Menagerie (TV Show)

Costume Designer

Biography

One of the most well-respected and prolific costume designers of the American stage, Patricia Zipprodt racked up 10 Tony Award nominations and three wins over a long and distinguished career. While there were the occasional forays into film and television (i.e., "The Graduate" 1967; the 1973 ABC adaptation of "The Glass Menagerie"), she was most at home crafting stage wardrobes that carefully reflected the characters, whether it be for grand opera, musical theater or a Broadway boulevard comedy.

Born and raised in Chicago, Zipprodt studied sociology at Wellesley and then embarked on a bohemian lifestyle in Manhattan in the early 1950s, studying painting at the Art Students League of New York. The story went that while attending the ballet one evening, she suddenly hit on the idea of creating the costumes as a means to, in her words, "paint with fabric". Apprenticeships with several of the top craftspersons of the day (e.g., Rouben ter-Arutunian, Irene Sharaff) followed before Zipprodt realized her dream. She also branched out to creating clothing for the stage, handling five shows in 1957 alone, including her Broadway debut, "The Potting Shed". Soon in demand, she created the Puritan garb for Arthur Miller's "The Crucible" (1958) as well as costumes for such acclaimed Off-Broadway shows as "The Balcony" (1960) and "The Blacks" (1961). Her work on the latter brought her to the attention of Jerome Robbins who hired Zipprodt for his directorial debut, 1962's "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad" (1962). Within two years, she had picked up her first Tony Award for the turn-of-the-century Russian costumes she created for the long-running musical "Fiddler on the Roof" (1964).

Now firmly established as a designer of note, Zipprodt would go on to a distinguished career that spanned into the 90s, dividing her time between teaching (at various colleges and universities) and designing for opera, ballet, film and TV and the theater. In 1967, she earned her second Tony Award for the 20s costumes for the musical "Cabaret" and branched out into features with Mike Nichols' "The Graduate". Among the more notable musicals and plays she graced with her craftsmanship were "1776" (1969, as well as the 1972 film adaptation), "Pippin" (1972), the original 1975 production of "Chicago", "Sunday in the Park with George" (1984, with Ann Hould-Ward) and the 1986 revival of "Sweet Charity". Some of her most impressive work was found in the short-lived "Shogun: The Musical" (1991), for which she designed more than 300 individual costumes. Among her final credits were the 1993 revival of "My Fair Lady" and the 1995 Off-Broadway hit play "Picasso at the Lapin Agile".

Relationships

Agnes Irene Zipprodt

Mother

Robert O'Brien

Husband
achieved rank of lieutenant colonel proposed to Zipprodt in 1947 she declined, so he married another after becoming a widower, reunited with her and married from June 5, 1993 until his death in 1998

Herbert Zipprodt

Father

Constance Zonka

Sister
younger

EDUCATION

Art Students League of New York

New York , New York
studied painting

Art Institute of Chicago

Chicago , Illinois 1935 - 1939

Fashion Institute of Technology

New York , New York 1952 - 1953

Wellesley College

Wellesley , Massachusetts 1946
(AB)

Milestones

1995

Final stage credit, the costumes for the Off-Broadway hit "Picasso at the Lapin Agile"

1993

Designed the costumes for the revival of "My Fair Lady", starring Richard Chamberlain

1991

Received 10th and final Tony nomination for "Shogun: the Musical"

1986

Recreated her stage designs for the Showtime adaptation of "Sunday in the Park with George"

1986

Worked on two productions directed by Bob Fosse: "Big Deal" and the revival of "Sweet Charity; won third Tony Award for the latter

1983

Garnered her seventh Tony Award nomination for "Alice in Wonderland"

1983

With Ann Hould-Ward, designed the period and contemporary costumes for the award-winning "Sunday in the Park with George"; shared a Tony nomination

1978

Received praise for her designs for the ill-fated musical adaptation of the cult film "King of Hearts"

1977

Created the costumes for the Metropolitan Opera production of "Tannhauser"; recreated for a 1983 telecast on PBS

1975

Received sixth Tony nomination for "Chicago", directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse

1974

Designed the costumes for the stage musical biography "Mack and Mabel"; earned fifth Tony nomination

1973

Created the costumes for the ABC adaptation of Tennessee Williams' "The Glass Menagerie", starring Katharine Hepburn

1972

Recreated her costumes for the film adaptation of "1776"

1972

Collaborated with Bob Fosse, designing the costumes for "Pippin"; earned fourth Tony nomination

1968

Designed the clothing for the acclaimed stage musical "1776"

1968

Received third Tony Award nomination for "Zorba", directed by Harold Prince

1967

Feature debut as costume designer, "The Graduate"

1966

Created the costumes for the Prince-directed Broadway musical "Cabaret"; received second Tony Award

1965

Worked at the National Ballet of Washington, DC crafting the costumes for "La Sonnamnbula"

1964

Received first Tony Award for the costumes for the long-running "Fiddler on the Roof"; produced by Harold Prince and directed by Robbins

1962

First costumes for opera, "La Boheme" at the Boston Opera Company

1961

Designs for "The Blacks" caught attention of Jerome Robbins who hired Zipprodt for his stage directorial debut, "Oh Dad, Poor Dad, Mama's Hung You in the Closet and I'm Feeling So Sad" (1962)

1958

Created the costumes for the premiere of Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"

1957

Broadway debut as costume designer, "The Potting Shed"

Began career as apprentice with such notable designers as Boris Aronson, Rouben ter-Arutunian and Irene Sharaff

Raised in Chicago, Illinois

Bonus Trivia

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Inducted into the Theatrical Hall of Fame in 1992

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Zipprodt taught and lectured extensively at various colleges and schools including Yale School of Drama, Harvard University, Wellesley College, Brandeis University, Pratt Institute, New York University and Northwestern University.

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