Currently an Associate Professor of Scenography at Lewis & Clark College’s Department of Theatre in Portland, Oregon, Michael has collaborated as both a designer and director with organizations and artists from coast to coast over the last 45 years, among them San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theatre, Houston’s Alley Theatre, The Guthrie Theatre, Berkeley Repertory Theatre, the Hartford Stage Company, Intiman Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, the Mark Taper Forum, Seattle Opera, Empty Space Theatre, Artists Repertory Theatre, New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre, South Coast Repertory, Atlanta’s Alliance Theatre Company, the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, Portland Opera, San Jose Repertory Theatre and in more than ten years with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

In 1991, Michael originated the scenic installation for the Pulitzer Prize-winning The Kentucky Cycle that garnered the Los Angeles Critics Circle Award at the Mark Taper Forum in 1992 and was later produced at the Kennedy Center and on Broadway. His 2005 designs for The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?, also at the Taper, earned an LA Stage Alliance Ovation Award. Michael’s costumes have also earned several Dramalogue awards. Mr. Olich holds an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University, where he also served the School of Drama on its tenured faculty for several years before moving his home to Portland. 

More recent designs include West Coast premieres at the San Jose Repertory Theatre (Lynn Redgrave’s The Mandrake Root) and A Contemporary Theatre (Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia?) as well as the scenic installation for Hedwig and the Angry Inch at both Pittsburgh’s City Theatre and the Hartford Stage Company, and the scenery for South Coast Repertory’s recent production of The Importance of Being Earnest. Locally, Michael has created the scene designs for Artists Rep’s production of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice, Portland Opera’s production of Trouble in Tahiti as well as The Chosen and Clybourne Park at Portland Center Stage.  He also designed scenery for The Tales of Hoffmann at Wolf Trap Opera in Washington DC, and will be designing the scenery and costumes for Mozart’s La Finta Giardiniera and Vivaldi’s Bajazet in Portland Opera’s 2019 and 2020 seasons.



A Contemporary Theatre - Seattle, WA
Alliance Theatre Company - Atlanta, GA
Artists Repertory Theatre - Portland, OR
Broadway/Kennedy Center - New York, NY
Children's Theatre Company - Minneapolis, MN
City Theatre Company - Pittsburgh, PA
Empty Space - Seattle, WA
Goodman Theatre - Chicago, IL
Guthrie Theatre - Minneapolis, MN
Intiman Theatre Company - Seattle, WA
Lewis & Clark College - Portland, OR
Mark Taper Forum - Los Angeles, CA
Milwaukee Repertory Theatre - Milwaukee, WI
Oregon Shakespeare Festival - Ashland, OR
Paul Dresher Ensemble - San Francisco, CA
Pittsburgh Public Theatre - Pittsburgh, PA
Portland Center Stage - Portland, OR
Portland Opera - Portland, OR
San Jose Repertory - San Jose, CA
Seattle Opera Company - Seattle, WA
Seattle Repertory Theatre - Seattle, WA
South Coast Repertory - Costa Mesa, CA
Wolf Trap Opera - Washington, DC

Department of Theatre, Lewis & Clark College - Associate Professor of Theatre (tenured 2009)

Heads the Design/Technical Theatre major concentration, as well as mentors and advices all it students; collaborates with the Department’s full-time faculty and staff in support of the planning and execution of undergraduate liberal arts programs in design and technical theatre; teaches lower and upper-level courses in design concepts, scenographic process, graphic skills, and independent study (as requested); designs scenery and costumes for one mainstage production each semester; advises on all production assignments for students enrolled in design-related courses; academic advisor to undergraduate students within college as assigned; senior thesis advisor to graduating design-focused majors.


School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon - Associate Professor of Design (tenured 2002)


University of Washington - Guest Lecturer, Design

1991, 1999

Cornish College of the Arts - Guest Lecturer, Design


University of California/San Diego - Guest Lecturer, Design


University of Santa Clara - Lecturer, Design


School of Drama, Carnegie Mellon University - Associate Head

Coordinated all department daily operations, recruitment/marketing campaigns and school communication systems and publications; Graduate admissions Coordinator; corrdinates annula awards and scholarships, year-end school events and presentations


Seattle Fringe Festival - Executive Director

Sole full-time, year-round, staff person; initiated and managed all programming, budgeting and seasonal staffin, all organizational fund-raising activities, including membvership, sponsorship, grand-writing, and individual giving campaigns; coordinated all board communication and reporting.


Northwest Chamber Orchestra - PR/Marketing/Development Assistant

Supported all marketing and development activities, including direct mail and telefunding-telemarketing, press releases, grant-writing, annual auction, corporate, foundation and individual giving campaigns; coordinated volunteer activities and recognition; conducted targeted market survey; initiated new special events.


Michael Olich Design, Inc. - Owner

(Single-person corporation committed to design services for both local and national non-profit and commercial clients); managed contract employees, budgeted and scheduled for more than fifty project/events; coordinated multiple simultaneous projects and personnel; managed studio marketing and fiscal reporting.


Intiman Theatre Company - Production Manager

Supervised and managed six production departments, including all personnel, budgets, and scheduling for a six production, eight month mainstage season; consulted on all programming and its marketing, artist selection, and production styles; acted as board liaison/consultant for all production related-activities.


Alley Theatre (Houston) - Director of Design

Supervised and managed six production departments and all visiting and resident artists; scheduled, budgeted and staffed three performing spaces and six production departments on a year-round basis; established new company visual standards and consulted on all programming in both artistic and management departments.