Ralph Alswang

Ralph Alswang ( born April 12, 1916 in Chicago, Illinois, † February 1979 in New York City ) was an American theater and film director, stage, film and theater producer. He was responsible for the production design, the lighting and the costumes of nearly 100 theatrical productions on Broadway. In addition, he has also built up Banquet Facilities, such as the Gershwin Theatre.


Alswang was born in Chicago, the son of Hyman and Florence Alswang and studied theater at the Goodman Theatre, the Art Institute of Chicago and as a student of Robert Edmond Jones. He married interior designer Beatrice (Betty) Alswang.

From 1942 to 1977 Alswang created the sets for almost 100 plays on Broadway, including more than 70 productions. His first major work set the stage for the play Comes the Revelation in Jolson 's 59th Street Theatre (later New Century Theatre ). In 1946, he was responsible for the stage design of a new edition of Lysistrata. In addition to the stage, he also took over the costume design and theater lighting. The lighting he was allowed to take over at the Broadway evergreens A Raisin in the Sun and Beyond the Fringe, both of them more than 500 performances. Sometimes, as for example in the 1964 edition of Fair Game for Lovers, he took over all three areas.

Together with Robert J. Flaherty and Robert Snyder Alswang produced the documentary film The Titan: Story of Michelangelo ( 1950), which was in 1951 awarded the Oscar for Best Documentary.

In March 1964, he was co-producer and director of a piece called Is There Intelligent Life on Earth? . In this piece of theater scenes and film elements were connected, a process which was later called Living Screen. The early 1970s he was an interior designer of the Uris Theatre in New York City, which became known as Gershwin Theatre later. Shortly thereafter, he designed the New Orleans Civic Center Theatre and the Pine Knob Pavilion. In addition, he was an architect of several houses in Westport, Connecticut, including Paul Newman thereat estate.

His last Broadway production was Piaf ... A Remembrance ( 1977). Alswang died in February 1979, leaving three children: Hope, Frances and Ralph Alswang.