Martin Schwartz - Playwright, Translator, Cultural Advocate


The theatre unites two of Martin Schwartz’s great loves: literature and physical reality. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, he earned his BA from UC San Diego, in literature, and his MA from University of Chicago, working on performance and German studies. Recently selected as part of the inaugural group for Theatre Bay Area's ATLAS Fellowship Program for Playwrights, and a finalist for the Titan Award. 

Co-artistic director of San Francisco’s Dark Porch Theatre ( since 2009, Martin is primarily a playwright, with strong professional backgrounds in translation and dramaturgy.

Writing credits include 2009 Best of San Francisco Fringe winner Cockroach (, additionally featured at the 2010 WOW Festival) and two 2010 productions of Comedy Ballet (The Garage, EXIT Stage Left), which he also directed.

Martin directed his play TUTOR: enter the exclave ( at the EXIT Studio in October 2011 and again in March at Space 55 in Phoenix, AZ. Described as "evoking the unsettling dream with humor, unusual staging, and a taste for the macabre" in the San Francico Bay Guardian and as "staggeringly original, full of experimentation and theatrical verve" on, TUTOR was listed in the Phoenix New Times as one of Phoenix’s ten best shows of 2012.

He co-wrote and assistant directed Dark Porch’s fantastical 2009 musical extravaganza The In Betweens and made his San Francisco stage debut in the role of King John in Dark Porch’s Eleanor (2011), for which he also supplied dramaturgy and script development. Martin has contributed dramaturgy to several American Conservatory Theatre mainstage productions, including Hedda Gabler, After the War, Blackbird, and The Rainmaker.

For his piece StormStressLenz, Martin translated, adapted, and remixed sixty of the wildest moments from the oeuvre of Sturm und Drang dramatist JMR Lenz for four actors and a referee. StomStressLenz was performed at the 2013 Home Theater Festival ( and the 2013 San Francisco International Fringe Festival (, where it was awarded Best of Fringe. Video: StormStressLenz will be published in the November, 2013 issue of the University of Chicago's Colloquium Magazine (

Martin is currently at work on The Diplomats, a comedy, as well as other prose, film, and performance projects. The Diplomats is forthcoming in book form, published by EXIT Press.

An experienced cultural administrator and arts advocate, Martin has served as Cultural Coordinator at the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco since 2008.