In December 2014, Roth was dismissed as the Artistic Director of Theater J. Hundreds of noted figures in the world of American theater contested his termination; Tony Kushner called it "an act of political censorship." Specifically, it was said that Roth was fired due to his protesting the DCJCC cancelation of Theater J's “ Voices from a Changing Middle East”. The DCJCC denies that Roth's termination was political. Immediately following his departure from Theater J, Roth founded the Mosaic Theater Company of DC in December 2014.
The son of German-born refugees of the Holocaust, Roth was born and raised in Chicago, where he graduated from the University of Chicago Laboratory High School. He studied playwriting at the University of Michigan with Milan Stitt (author of The Runner Stumbles) and Kenneth Thorpe Rowe (author of the textbook, Write that Play). Based on his playwriting, he received two Avery Hopwood Awards for Drama, the first in 1981 given by Arthur Miller, a noted UM alum and playwright (and student of Thorpe Rowe).
From 1988 to 1997, Roth was a lecturer for the University of Michigan’s English and Theater departments, teaching playwriting and dramatic literature. He later taught in the Department of Theater Arts and the Genesis Institute at Brandeis University, and was an adjunct professor at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. Roth has been a visiting professor in the Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama graduate program in Dramatic Writing, and a visiting writer at George Washington University.
Since 2006, Roth has taught a course in political theater in Washington, DC, for University of Michigan’s “Michigan in Washington Program," University of San Francisco's "USFinDC Program" and University of California Berkeley’s “Berkeley Washington Program”.