Michael Schwartz’s career encompasses acting, theater history, dramaturgy, playwriting, and improvisation. Michael earned his PhD from the University of Pittsburgh in theater and performance studies, and his book Broadway and Corporate Capitalism: The Rise of the Professional Managerial Class 1900–1920, published by Palgrave Macmillan, was nominated for the Barnard Hewitt Award for Outstanding Research in Theatre History. His second book, Class Divisions on the Broadway Stage: The Staging and Taming of the I.W.W., also published by Palgrave, was released in 2014.
His areas of research interest include early 20th-century Broadway, musicals, evidence of class development and labor struggle in theater, and the work of 20th-century American playwright George Kelly. He is a frequent contributor to the theater journal Text & Presentation, which features articles based on presentations at the annual Comparative Drama Conference.
As a playwright, Mike has had his work produced in New York, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia. His most recent productions include an adaptation of Horatio Alger’s Shifting for Himself, which premiered as part of the Literature Alive Festival at the Metropolitan Playhouse in New York City, and two short plays, The Tool, which was produced as part of the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre’s Festival in Black and White, and The Barbecue, which was featured as a part of Indiana County’s Juneteenth Celebration.
Michael has worked as dramaturg for several Theater-by-the-Grove productions, including Three Sisters, In Quietness, and Lysistratra, and has also served as dramaturg for the Montgomery Theater of Sauderton, Pa. In the fields of improvisation and sketch comedy, Michael studied and taught at Philly Improv Theater, and has written and performed sketches in New York City clubs and the Winnipeg Fringe Festival. He has also studied improv with Impro author Keith Johnstone and sketch writing with former Saturday Night Live writer Ali Farahnakian.
Education & Training
- PhD - Theatre and Performance Studies, University of Pittsburgh, 2008