Founder, Artistic Director
William’s acting career began in 1972 at the Theatre Guild of Webster Groves—where his dad had acted in the mid-60s—in a performance of South Pacific, in which he had a horrible case of stage fright, refusing to sing and choosing instead to dance behind the curtain. Twenty years later, after a six-year stint in the Marines and other distractions, he moved back to St. Louis from California and performed in a student-directed one-act festival at the University of Missouri-St Louis. He then returned to the Theatre Guild of Webster Groves to get his picture on the wall with his father, playing Clive in Alan Ayckbourn’s Season's Greetings.
After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from Saint Louis University, William began his acting career in earnest. He spent six years with the Orthwein Theatre Company, appearing in several shows, including The Grapes of Wrath, Our Town, ER, Emergency Room and Harvey; directing Cantrell (chosen as one of the year’s best by the Riverfront Times) and Kafka’s Metamorphoses.
Over the past 20 years he has appeared in countless Shakespeare productions, including: Julius Caesar, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Comedy of Errors, Titus Andronicus, Cymbeline, As You Like It, Romeo and Juliet, Richard III, The Winter’s Tale, King Lear, Troilus and Cressida and Antony and Cleopatra.
William has appeared with many other St. Louis companies as well, including The Classic Theater Company, River City Players, Magic Smoking Monkey, Midnight Productions, the Goldenrod Showboat, the International Hemmingway Festival, HotHouse Theatre, Muddy Waters, and the American Ballet Theatre’s run of Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet at the Fox Theatre. For STLAS, he starred as Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons, Bill in the world premiere of Neil LaBute's Here we go 'Round The Mulberry Bush, George in Edward Albee's Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf with Kari Ely(Critic's Circle Award Best Play, Nomination Best Actor) and Teach in David Mamet's American Buffalo (Critic's Circle Award Nomination Best Play). Visit www.wmroth.com
In addition to founding St. Louis Actors’ Studio, William developed The Gaslight Theater in historic Gaslight Square.