Represented in this collection are Wexler's designs for Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional, music, outdoor festivals, and television productions. The material consists of lighting plots and sections, theater ground plans, stage plans, photographs, slides, and costume designs. Production materials includes design processing papers, project proposals, photographs, scripts, memos, production notes, contracts and some correspondence relating to many productions. Photographs/Slides also contain slides of his early drawings and paintings that are examples of artwork Wexler has exhibited in galleries. There are no personal papers in this collection.
Biographical/historical: Peter Wexler (b. 1936-) has had a prolific career as a designer of vast range, creating the scenic, costume, and lighting designs for several theatrical, television, opera, and music festival productions. Wexler studied at the University of Michigan, graduating in 1958, and attended the Yale School of Drama. During the 1960s and 1970s, he actively exhibited his drawings and painting in numerous journals and magazines such as Theatre Crafts, Opera News, Theatre Design and Technology, as well as in galleries such as the Wright-Hepburn-Webster Gallery in New York City, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, and the Cooper-Hewitt Museum of the Smithsonian Institution. It was also during this time that his designs for the stage brought him critical acclaim. His Broadway credits include Murderous Angels, The Trial of the Catonsville Nine, Camino Real, and In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer. Off-Broadway design work included Unfinished Stories and Candide at the Mark Taper Forum, The Web and the Rock at the Lucille Lortel Theatre, and The Big Knife at the Seven Arts Playhouse. He founded his own production company, Peter Wexler, Inc., as a way to promote, design, plan and execute for a variety of theatrical events. With his company, Wexler worked as a Visual Consultant for such television productions as Lifetime Medical Television and The Big Deal. He also worked as a design consultant for Reebok River Stage and as Artistic Director for the Spring Creek and Texas Arts Festivals in the 1990's. During the 1960's and 1970's, Wexler designed sets for several opera productions, including Lizzie Borden for New York City Opera, Le Prophete, Les Troyens, and Un Ballo in Maschera for the Met. His work for the New York Philharmonic includes interior designs for the Promenade Concerts and Rug Concerts at Avery Fisher Hall.