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Los Angeles & San Diego-2017 - Pasadena & Prague - 2018

American & European premieres of


new music theatre for string quartet, recorded voices & laptop 

September 13, 2018 in Prague at the Beckett & Technology Conference - click for video


" ... a combination of interpretive performance, classical music and recorded dialogue, this experiment with technology invoked the 
GHOST IN THE MACHINE that would come to be expressed as an extension of subjectivity into and through cybernetic systems." 
- Eleanor Green, THE BECKETT CIRCLE - on the Prague Performance
Edward Beckett, Samuel Beckett's nephew/executor of the estate,
with MR, Quartet Nouveau (Prague, 9/13/18)
IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE in performance - MR calling sound & light cues
 - with Quartet Nouveau (Prague, 9/13/18)

IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE in performance - Pasadena, May, 2018

IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE - music/theatre treatment of Samuel Beckett's text, for string quartet,

recorded voices & laptop - authorized by Beckett himself, had its world premiere in June, 2017 -

performed by Quartet Nouveau as a special presentation of the San Diego Jewish Arts Festival -

followed by the LA premiere at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica; and two encore Red Hen Press special performances in Pasadena in May, 2018

Global Village/Public Radio interview  - 5/3/18

One of the greatest joys of being an Artistic Director is that you can host the premiere of a new work of theatre or music. Beyond that is a place of enormous satisfaction when I encounter a transcendent work of art.  IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE is just that - transcendent, a work to be treasured and cherished. The artistry, the bravery, the musicianship is of the very highest rank. I'm so proud that San Diego REP hosted the world premiere!
     Sam Woodhouse, Artistic Director, San Diego Rep


The imaginative & emotional life is vivid and irresistible!  Taking place entirely within the mind and heart of the viewer, we are left with intense visual images, and the pure emotion of music penetrating our guts - pulling, churning, twisting, and finally, reconciling.  Michael's IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE somehow achieves the state of Peter Brook's "empty space" - NOTHING filled with NOTHING that becomes SOMETHING that illuminates NOTHING ...  and the final musical sequence surrounding the word "elsewhere" is absolutely brilliant, 

like Barber's ADAGIO.  The ending is equally stunning - that incredible high overtone that sung out over the first violin as she played in the darkness - Holy shite!

      Mark Harelik, award-winning actor, writer, & director


I was so moved by IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE.  The music was breathtaking and stunningly beautiful, and I was blown away by the strength and extraordinary skill the quartet brought to the performance. I had tears in my eyes by the end!     

      Cricket Myers, Tony-nominated sound designer

I came from NY specifically to see and hear the musical world premiere of IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE, with a text by my friend Samuel Beckett.  Beckett and I worked together. He tells the truth, and Roth and the Quartet Nouveau are his messengers. Whether or not you like the message, hear it. This team will captivate you and make you think. It is an extraordinary experience. Don’t miss it.  
     Don Boros, Beckett scholar & collaborator, Binghamton University

IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE has, without question, forceful impact - for works like this, a first performance is only a beginning. 
     San Diego UNION-TRIBUNE 

In IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE, Roth's music and Beckett's words dance back and forth, creating tension by dominating and supporting each other, with dramatic shifts that surprisingly hit just where you want them, leaving you excited and very satisfied.

     Kate Jopson, Artistic Director, Circle X, LA

The level of musicianship is astonishing!  I am so proud our Jewish Arts Festival could bring Michael's 30 year dream to fruition, a piece so haunting, mysterious, expertly rendered, and very very moving. 

     Todd Salovey, Director, San Diego Jewish Arts Festival

IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE - Quartet Nouveau - Batya MacAdam-Somer, Missy Lukin, Annabelle Terbetski, Elizabeth Brown


for more information and demos - click here

Special thanks to Randy Newman -

and to all of our Indiegogo supporters - click here

Beckett Radio Interview-KPFK - Michael Roth, Donna Walker
00:00 / 00:00

Click above for the special Public Radio interview - July, 2017 - KPFK/LA

a second letter from Beckett, regarding, among other things, 

the "frog chorus" Beckett from WATT - click to enlarge

Below - the pro tools session for the voices in IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE -

those tiny edits are the edits of each word in each voice - lined up syllable by syllable -

Protools session for the IMAGINATION DEAD IMAGINE voices - each word in each voice separate, syllable by syllable

I'm a paragrap

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