ATW has one vita and three biographies: a Polish one, a German one, and an American one.
As a literary and theater critic as well as an editor in Warsaw, Wirth wrote on Witkiewicz, Grotowski, Mrozek and Kantor. Wirth also penned Polish translations of works by German writers Kafka and Dürrenmatt. His translation of Brecht’s Schweyk im Zweiten Weltkrieg premiered before the German production.
He was an assistant at Brecht`s Berliner Ensemble and was associated with the literary „Gruppe 47.“ Wirth at that time established himself as a mediator between Polish and German culture, editing works by Bruno Schulz, Tadeusz Borowski, and modern Polish dramatists.
Following a political emigration to the USA in 1966, Wirth taught drama and comparative literature at Stanford University, moving to the City University of New York in 1970. Additionally, he directed plays at campus theaters.
In the 1970s, Wirth was instrumental in introducing Gertrude Stein, Robert Wilson and American Avantgarde Theater into German critical discourse.
A former student of praxeology (the theory of praxis), at the Warsaw School of Analytical Philosophy, he was looking for its application in theater studies.
In 1982 he founded the first German Institute for Applied Theater Theory (Angewandte Theaterwissenschaft) at the University of Giessen where he invited internationally reputed guests, e.g., Heiner Müller, George Tabori, Michael Kirby, Robert Wilson, Richard Schechner, John Jesurun and Emma Lew Thomas.
„The School of Giessen“ won a national and international reputation as a place for innovative performane aesthetics, and its adepts are still bringing an innovative energy to the theater landscape of Germany.
As a visiting professor, Wirth taught and directed at Harvard University, Yale School of Drama, Oxford University, St Antony’s College, and the Freie Universität, Berlin. Moreover, he has conducted international theater workshops in Sydney, Australia, and under the hospices of the Teatro de la Righe in Volterra, Italy, as well as at Oxford University.
In 2008, Wirth received the German International Theater Institute’s „Welttheatertag Preis“.
Director, performance- and video- artist, writer, stage-designer. Resides in Berlin, Germany, together with Carola Lehmann and their child.
Leaving a career in business behind, turned to performance art in 1988. Graduated from the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies in Giessen, Germany, 1994. Independent artist since then. Teacher of Video Arts at Freie Universität, Berlin, 1996-present. Various “artist in residencies”, such as the Brown Foundation Fellows Program at the Dora Maar House in France.
Martius has more than a hundred international performances, theatre-projects and videos to his credit.