A History of World War II

The D-Day Invasion to the Fall of Berlin

Written & Performed by John Fisher
Directed by Jerry Metzker and John Fisher
Graphics & Video by David Wilson
Light/Soundboard Operator: Aaron Aguilar & Rachel Cusing

NOW EXTENDED Through September 28!

August 9 – September 7, 2019 | Berkeley
Fridays at 8pm | Saturdays at 5pm

September 13 – September 28, 2019 | Berkeley
Fridays at 8pm | Saturdays at 8:30pm


“John Fisher makes each cold number, each obscure officer or site name, each military stratagem into a one-man fireworks display.”–Lily Janiak, San Francisco Chronicle

“Unforgettable, unique, and hilarious!”–Theatrius

Show Description

John Fisher brings you World War II from the Allied invasion of Normandy to the Fall of Berlin. Live! Onstage! He also provides useful information about the best books on the subject, the cutest generals who fought the battles, and the hottest actors who played them in the movies. The show demonstrates how WW II can bring you out of yourself and your own anxieties.

Artist Biography

John Fisher (Author/Performer) is the recipient of six Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for playwriting and directing and is the only two-time winner of Will Glickman Award for playwriting (Medea, the Musical and Combat!), given by the Bay Area’s major critics. He recently appeared in New York City at the United Solo Festival in his one-man show A History of World War II, for which he won the Best Actor Award in 2017 and made an encore appearance in the 2018 Festival. History has also been performed at the famed Pangea in Manhattan. In 2016 John competed with himself for Best Actor as a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Award nominee for both Breaking the Code and Shakespeare Goes to War. Other awards include two Cable Car Awards for Best Theatre, the GLAAD Media Award and La Weekly Award for Best Los Angeles Production, The SF Bay Guardian Goldie Award and the BackStage Award. He holds a PhD from UC Berkeley and has taught acting, directing and playwriting at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz, A.C.T., and in the MFA Playwriting Program at the Yale School of Drama. www.JohnFisher.biz 

Jerry Metzker (Director) is a playwright, dramaturg, and theater creator. He has written several long and short ensemble and solo plays, such as Mercy Buckets (San Francisco Fringe Festival, September 2011), Queerification and His Heart Belongs to Me (co-produced by Theatre Rhinoceros), Oh Fuck, You’re Old (LGBT Writes! at The Marsh Café, San Francisco), and three one-page plays produced by ABYDOS/The Directors Theater. He created, produced and performed in Sign Theatre, a series of performance installations with several actors at Oakland’s First Fridays Art Murmur. As a dramaturg, he was worked at Circle Repertory Company, the Williamstown Theatre Festival and Theatre Rhinoceros, and was a co-creator and administrator of the Artists Development Lab. He is also a static trapeze artist.

Show Info

Tickets: $20 – $35 sliding scale | $55 and $100 Reserved Seating
August 9 – September 7 | Berkeley TheaterStage
Fridays at 8pm | Saturdays at 5pm
September 13 – September 28 | Berkeley TheaterStage
Fridays at 8pm | Saturdays at 8:30pm
85 minutes | No Intermission | Ages 16+ | Please do not bring infants to the show

For more information on the sliding scale ticketing policy, late seating and reserved seating please click here.

Buy Tix Online:
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Monday – Friday 1 – 4pm, 415.282.3055
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A History of World War II: The D-Day Invasion to the Fall of Berlin
Written and Performed by John Fisher
Bibliography of Works Mentioned

Where It All Began
Where Eagles Dare (1968, Brian G. Hutton, director)

D-Day Films
The Longest Day (1962, Darryl F. Zanuck, producer)
Saving Private Ryan (1998, Stephen Spielberg, director)
The Big Red One (1980, Samuel Fuller, director)

D-Day Books
The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan (1959)
Six Armies in Normandy: From D-Day to the Liberation of Paris by John Keegan (1982)
D-Day, June 6th, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II by Stephen E. Ambrose (1994)

Hitler Books
Hitler: A Study in Tyranny by Alan Bullock (1952)
Adolf Hitler: The Definitive Biography by John Toland (1976)
The Diaries of Marie Vassiltchikov, 1940-1945 (1985)
The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich; A History of Nazi Germany by William L. Shirer (1960)

Assassination Movie
Valkyrie (2008, Bryan Singer, director)

Fall of Paris Book
Is Paris Burning? by Larry Collins and Dominique Lapierre (1965)

Fall of Paris Movie
Is Paris Burning? (1966, Rene Clement, director)
Paris is Burning (1990, Jennie Livingston, director)

Market Garden Book
A Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan (1974)

Market Garden Movie
A Bridge Too Far (1977, Richard Attenborough, director)

Patton Book
Patton: Ordeal and Triumph by Ladislas Farrago (1963)

Patton Movie
Patton (1969, Franklin J. Shaffner, director)

Battle of the Bulge Books
History of the Second World War by Basil Liddell Hart (1970)
Battle: Story of the Bulge by John Toland (1959)
The Ghost Front (Fiction) by Frank Bonham (1968)

Holocaust Books
Hitler’s Willing Executioners by Daniel Jonah Goldhagan (1996)
Victims, Perpetrators and Bystanders by Raul Hilberg (1992)
The Portage to San Cristobal of A. H. by George Steiner (1982)

Holocaust Movies and Television Programs
Hogan’s Heroes (1965-1971, Bernard Fein and Albert S. Ruddy, creators)
Schindler’s List (1994, Stephen Spielberg, director)
Escape from Sobibor (1987, Jack Gold, director)
Holocaust (1976, Marvin J. Chomsky, director)
War and Remembrance (1988-1989, Dan Curtis, director)

Hitler’s Bunker Movies
Downfall (2004, Oliver Hirschbiegel, director)
Inside the Third Reich (1982, Marvin J. Chomsky, director)
The Bunker (1981, George Shaefer)
Hitler: Last Ten Days (1973, Ennio De Concini, director)

Mass Raping in Berlin
A Woman in Berlin by Anonymous (1959)

Conspiracy Fiction
The Boys from Brazil by Ira Levin (1976)

Hollywood Nazi Artwork in the Dogana Museum, Venice
The Nazis by Piotr Ulkanski (1998)

Best Books on the Russian Front
Russia’s War by Richard Overy (1997)
Russia at War, 1941-45 by Alexander Werth (1964)

Best Book on the War in the Pacific
The Pacific Campaign by Dan Van der Vat (1991)

Best Overall Survey of World War II
History of the Second World War by Basil Liddell Hart (1970)

Books on Fall of Berlin
Armageddon by Max Hastings (2004)
The Last Battle by Cornelius Ryan (1966)
The Last One Hundred Days by John Toland (1966)