Joe Martin

About the Author
Playwright, novelist and theatre director, Joe Martin’s works comprise an international, curious, formal exploration into the border regions between the spiritual cosmos and the political world.

He is the recipient of various grants and awards as a writer and director — including a Fulbright Senior Fellowship in Theatre, and grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Scandinavian Foundation, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, among others. In 2002 Martin was selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialist in Theatre.

Also active as a translator of drama from Swedish, Norwegian and Spanish, he has translated many works of August Strindberg, as well as Jens Bjorneboe, and Juan Tovar.

Joe Martin is a playwright, novelist and theatre director residing in Washngton DC. He has lived or sojourned in Norway, Sweden, Canada, Mexico, India, Turkey, Tunisia, Nepal and France. His original works and translations have been published and produced around the US, Canada, England and Mexico. His recent books include the novel Foreigners, Conspiracies: Six Plays, Strindberg —, Seven Plays, Keeper of the Protocols: The Works of Jens Bjorneboe, and The Insomnia Suite: Poems. Author and adaptor of some thirty plays, including THE DUST CONSPIRACY, THE RECIVER, ANATOLE’S LOVER, THE MATCH GIRL’S SNOW QUEEN, and Rumi’s MATHNAVI, for over a decade he has directed Washington’s laboratory theatre, Open Theatre/DC.

A director and dramaturg of over fifty stage productions in the US, Canada and Europe, his choices have included both originals and classic works: The Ghost Sonata (Washington 1988), Parabola: Tales of the Wise and the Idiots (Washington, 1990), Anatole’s Lover (Washington 1991), Woyzeck (1993), The Match Girl’s SNOW QUEEN (Washington 1995), Three Plays by Brecht: The Wedding/The Chalk Cross/The Beggar (with Zeljko Djukic, 1997), Rumi’s MATHNAVI (Washington and New York, 1998-2001), and Jose Rivera’s Marisol (Bucharest, 2002).

He is a Lecturer in the Department of Drama, Catholic University of America.


  • “Absolutely remarkable and memorable! . . . When I first read the script, I thought that it would be impossible to have all of that in one play. It was as if I had gone to a party, and had been offered an entire pot of gourmet food that I had to finish. But…with every new bite I felt even hungrier . . . The directing, the acting, the music and choreography was endowed with a complex simplicity or simple complexity! It was all very inspiring and enlightening. It felt as if the actors analyzed Rumi’s stories, lifting the veils one after another.”
    — Lida Saeedian, author and Rumi translator
  • “Joe Martin’s adaptation of Rumi’s classic work is educational, moving, and most importantly, highly entertaining. It’s also an extremely relevant and timely play — especially in today’s political climate!”
    — Jon Klein, playwright, author of T Bone N Weasel and Dimly Perceived Threats to the System
  • “. . . through the tightly structured geometry of this metaphorically rich [work is] recognition of the search we undertake to fix a place for ourselves…and try to make sense of a confusing, alienating and often combative world.”
    — Cheryl Pallant, High Performance, on the stage version of Parabola: Tales of the Wise and the Idiots (Leaping Dog Press / Asylum Arts)
  • “. . . one of the most exciting playwrights in the country.”

Author’s Link