Witham, Charles W.
- (1842-1946)Born in Portland, Maine, Witham studied art and became a landscape painter, but quickly moved into theatre when he was hired in the 1860s as Gaspard Maeder's design assistant at Niblo's Garden Theatre in New York. In 1863, as chief designer at the Boston Theatre, Witham painted scenery for Edwin Forrest. Then he joined Edwin Booth's staff of scene designers and exercised considerable influence on the construction of Booth's Theatre. His renderings of that theatre, which opened in 1869, provide an important iconographic record. For a decade, Witham designed the scenery for Booth's Shakespearean productions, overlapping with his work for Augustin Daly, beginning in 1873. During the 1880s, Witham designed site-specific New York settings for the ethnic comedies at Edward Harrigan 's theatre. After 1890, he was a freelance designer. He retired in 1909.
The Historical Dictionary of the American Theater. James Fisher.
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