Born in Berlin, theatre designer and modernist artist Wolfgang Roth (1910-1988) designed, performed, and wrote for Berlin’s Kabaretts in the 1920s and early 1930s. Having worked early on with Erwin Piscator and Bertolt Brecht in the underground theatre of Nazi Germany, he was immersed in imaginative and experimental approaches to drama.
In 1938, Roth immigrated to the United States, where he established an international reputation as a set designer. Although he designed sets for such Broadway plays, musicals, and opera productions asPorgy and Bess (worldwide tour 1952-56) and Don Pasquale (Metropolitan Opera, New York, New York, 1955), Roth may be best known for his creation of The Littlest Circus, a dance-pantomime which traveled widely in North America and Canada, was Broadway’s first children’s show, and was filmed for television by CBS.
In 1953, Roth and his wife settled in Point Pleasant, Pennsylvania, where he continued working as a set designer and created paintings, sculptures, and works on paper, based largely on theatrical themes.
This exhibition featured set designs, paintings, and works on paper that are part of the Roth Collection gifted to the Michener from the Roth Estate.