︎ WORK / s
02. BIO


Photo by Max Zerrahn

Tracy Kopulsky, Manager

Anna-Katharina Müller, Editor

SAM MAX (b. 1995, Pennsylvania) is a writer, director, and filmmaker whose work is known for its “poetic spaces where death and dreams converge, making otherworldly encounters possible" (Suhrkamp). Recently they were named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film,” a recipient of the Horizon Award for Most Promising Filmmaker (24fps), a resident playwright of New Dramatists (2021-2029), a recipient of the 2021 Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences, and a member of 2018’s Young & Hungry List, tracking “Hollywood’s Top 100 New Writers.”

Their plays include Pidor and the Wolf (Cutting Ball Theater, 2019 Chesley-Bumbalo Playwriting Award, 2019 Honorable Mention: The Relentless Award), the performance art concert Twin Size Beds (Under the Radar Festival, Museum of Sex, Joe’s Pub), and Coop (DE: Zaun), which premiered at the Paradise Factory in New York under their own direction, starring recently-named Sundance Special Jury Award-winning actor Lio Mehiel. Coop has been subsequently staged at Berliner Festspiele’s Theatertreffen-Stückemarkt (2021), at Goethe-Institut Beijing (2021), and at ETA Hoffman Theater in Bamberg (2023). Their plays are published in translation by Suhrkamp Theater Verlag (Berlin), and One-Way Street Journal (Beijing). As a stage Director and Dramaturg, they have also worked with Francesca D’Uva (Abrons Arts Center), Emily Davis (Mercury Store), and the performance artist Erin Markey. They have served as a resident Dramaturg as well as an ongoing Directing Lab mentor at The Mercury Store. Their work for stage is currently under commission from the German State Theaters, (more info TBA shortly), in the premiere seasons of two new artistic directors in 2024, respectively.

Their debut short film Chaperone starring Zachary Quinto held its World Premiere at Sundance Film Festival competing for the Short Film Grand Jury Prize, and has since played over three-dozen festivals internationally, including NewFest, Fantasia, Turin Horror (Special Mention for Best Short), and Palm Springs International (Special Jury Mention for Best U.S. Short). The film was named one of IndieWire’s “10 Must-See Shorts” of the festival, was deemed a “formally assured and chillingly acted” highlight of the 2022 programming (Filmmaker Magazine), and was also named on the shortlist for the Directors’ Fortnight at Cannes. It will be distributed by Altered Innocence (US) and Peccadillo Pictures (UK). Their second short film Ticks (Festival Premiere: Palm Springs, 2023) was commissioned by 20th Century Studios and premiered on Hulu. Their forthcoming feature debut as writer and director, Baby, will be produced by Kindred Spirit (Honey Boy, The Farewell, Assassination Nation).

Sam’s art writing on performance and film has appeared at Culturebot, with new forthcoming essays in BOFFO’s “Talking to the Sun at Fire Island: Vol. 2” and Movement Research Performance Journal.

Sam is a graduate of the University of Evansville’s Theatre program (2017), holding a degree in Theatre Performance and a minor in Social Ethics/Philosophy, summa cum laude.

MGMT: Grandview, Tracy Kopulsky. tracy@grandviewla.com



︎︎︎ 3.14.23 “The Chaos Porn of Gelitin, Young Boy Dancing Group, and Alex Tatarsky” / Culturebot
︎︎︎ 12.23.22 “Between Dreaming and Real in Des Moines / Culturebot
︎︎︎ 11.30.22 “Performing Precarity: Young Boy Dancing Group at Pageant” / Culturebot

︎︎︎ Coop by Sam Max (Mandarin trans. by CHEN S’ian) in One-Way Street Journal “Contemporary Plays: Everything Stops Today”