Martha Horstman-Evans began her career as an actor, playwright and teacher. After receiving her Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Theatre from Webster University, she got her first job at The Great Lakes Theatre Festival, performing Emilia in Othello, and other roles. After GLTF, Martha toured with John Houseman's Acting Company in Twelfth Night, The Country Wife, and Tartuffe among other plays. As an actress, she worked in regional theatres all over the country, as well as various television shows and projects.
In the 1980's, Martha began writing and producing plays and teaching drama in New York City and Brooklyn Schools. During this time, she penned a variety of works for children's theatre. After moving to Denver, she continued teaching and writing for children's theatre at Stage Eleven, as well as started drama programs in Denver Public Schools. While working at Slavens Elementary in Denver, she taught drama to kids from kindergarten to 8th grade and created the "Character Education through the Dramatics Arts" program. This program explored character development, literally and figuratively, through the creation and performance of original scenes and plays. The school won the President's Award for Character Education, with Mr. Charles Elbot as principal.
As the Children's Program Director of a an inter-generational non-profit organization in Denver, Martha ran an award winning preschool and after school program. She was a successful grant writer for senior, children and general operating funds for the Washington Street Community Center. (2001-2013) Martha continued her training and education, focusing on elementary school grades and early childhood education. Safety and education standards were a top priority as well collaboration with area school and teachers. In addition, Martha produced and wrote for Colfax Community Network and Warren Village for kids in transition.
In 2014, the original company "The Neighborhood Playhouse of Washington Park" became "Once Upon a Playhouse, Inc." and is committed to "moving the needle" in children's media entertainment and education. Martha is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild, and her 24 character play Magic, Moonlight & Mardi Gras was a semi-finalist at the Duke Theatre in NYC for the New York New Works Theatre Festival in the late fall of 2017. Lights, Camera, Now What? was filmed in front of a live audience in May of 2018. Classes for new works will resume this fall.