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Theatre Rhinoceros Presents


written and Directed by John Fisher

February 8-25, 2024
@ Theatre Rhinoceros 
4229 18th Street
San Francisco, CA  94104

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A lesbian bar. A gay disco. A mission behind enemy lines. What do they have in common? The Colonel and Day. 

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Billy review

Billy review

Billy review



JOHN FISHER (Playwright/Director/Actor) recently completed an eight-month run of his show A History of World War II at The Marsh, after playing two successful runs of the show in Manhattan (United Solo Festival/Theatre Row – Best Actor Award - and Pangea Performance Venue) and another in Los Angeles (The Broadwater.) He is a two-time winner of the Will Glickman Playwright Award, as well as being a recipient of the GLAAD Media Award, the Theatre Bay Area Award, two Cable Car Awards, The Bay Guardian Goldie Award, the BackStage West Garland Award, and seven Critics’ Circle Awards. His plays include the award-winning Action Hero, Shakespeare Goes to War, To Sleep and Dream, Combat! and Medea, the Musical. They have been performed in NYC, Los Angeles, Seattle, San Francisco, and Berkeley. He recently appeared as Russ/Dan in the Character Physics production of Bruce Norris’s Clybourne Park (nominated Best Performer, Broadway World 2021.) Previous COVID-19 solo-performances include Murder in Hawaii, Shark!, Doodler, A Tourist in London, Johnson, Modjeska, A Death in the Family, The Drinker, Randy!, Marie’s Crisis, Insane Director!, The Battle of Kursk, Seduction, Broke and Outta Work, Jenny, The Farm, The Swimmer and Bulge! JOHN CREATED SIXTY-TWO ORIGINAL, SHELTER-IN-PLACE, SOLO PERFORMANCES, ONE FOR EACH WEEK OF THE PANDEMIC. John Fisher recently won a citation from the 2021 Bay Area Critics’ Circle Awards Committee for his E. S. P. He recently completed a residency at the LGBTQ Center, NYC at which he created and performed six new works and performed his A History of the Civil War, Escape! and Wing Walker, among others, live at Pangea, NYC, Shark! at ArtsOnSite NYC, and four solo-shows at The Tank NYC. 

"[John Fisher's JOY is a] deep purple valentine... [it] transcends happiness." Andrea Stevens, NEW YORK TIMES

"John Fisher restakes his claim as one of the most stimulating theater artists to emerge here in the past decade... [Fisher] gives his material such a confident theatrical charge that the audience feels the kind of vibrations Tony Kushner unleashed in 'Angels in America.'" Steven Winn, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

"Fisher has talent to burn... Not unlike Tony Kushner, this playwright can set his figures to talking like exclamation-pointed position papers that are both clear and funny." Dennis Harvey, VARIETY "Fisher's plays bristle with wit, intelligence, and a wonderfully developed theatrical instinct." Steven Winn, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

“No local playwright can match Fisher's enormous, voracious energy. No subject is too large or daunting: He's taken on World War II and deconstructed Shakespeare.” Rob Hurwitt, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE

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John Fisher  

John Fisher
photo by Lisa Keating



Essential Services Project

See John in the San Francisco Chronicle!

John Fisher working on Essential Services
Photo: Lea Suzuki / The Chronicle

See the amazing article about Theatre Rhinoceros and other local theaters adapting to digital. Read it in The Chronicle.


Solo Performances Conceived and Performed by John Fisher

John Fisher - Nominated Best Performer by Broadway World 2021

2021 Bay Area Critics' Circle Award Winner for
"Best Solo-Performance" for the Essential Services Project

Earlier Performances Recorded live: March 2020 – December 2021

(Not all videos start at the beginning. Many have long leaders. Please cue up to the start of each video.)

You might want to watch ESPs on Facebook – some of the recordings are cleaner.

(Download a PDF of the Facebook links.)

List of Videos of Previous Performances

A History of World War II, The D-DAY invaction to the Fall of Berlin.John Fisher named Best Actor in 2017!


John was named Best Actor at New York's United Solo Festival for his October 25, 2017 performance of A History of World War II, The D-DAY invastion to the Fall of Berlin.

Thanks of Leah Garchik of the San Francisco Chronicle for the mention of the award in her column!

Earlier Adventures

2014: Submitting my play Hackett Straight (about PT-Boats in the South Pacific) to the Yale Drama Series. Recently submitted my play Pirates! (gays hijacked by Somalis) and a new play about growing up to Playwrights Horizons and The Rattlestick Theatre. Writing a play about the AIDS crisis and adapting a Shakespeare into a camp musical.

John Fisher has written and directed the following plays:

John Fisher, Playwrite
  • To Sleep and Dream (Z Below)
  • Slugs and Kicks (Thick House)
  • Romanoffs (24-Hour Play Festival)
  • Fighting Mac! (Thick House)
  • SexRev (Mama Calizo's Voice Factory; CounterPULSE)
  • Schoenberg (NYFF: Bleecker Street Theatre, NYC) 
  • Ishi: The Last of the Yahi (Theatre Rhino; UC Berkeley)
  • Richard Burton's Voice (Yale School of Drama)
  • The Christmas Panto (Theatre Rhino)
  • Joy (Actors Playhouse, NYC)
  • Medea: The Musical (HBO U.S. Comedy Arts Festival, Aspen)
  • Combat! (Victoria Theatre; UC Berkeley)
  • Partisans (UC Berkeley)
  • Barebacking: A Sex Panic Comedy (Theatre Rhino)
  • Amnesia (Theatre Rhino)
  • Queer Theory (Soho Playhouse, NYC; Impact Theatre)
  • Titus!(Center for the Arts, SF)
  • Napoleon: The Camp-Drag-Disco-Musical Extravaganza (UC Berkeley)
  • Special Forces (Theatre Rhino)
  • There's Something About Marriage (New York Fringe)

among others

  Plays by John Fisher

now in print

Special Forces

Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

The Best Women's Stage Monologues 2008 (Joy, Jane's monologue)


Broadway Play Publishing, Inc.

on stage




Special Forces

(Theatre Rhinoceros)

John Fisher's plays have been produced in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, New Haven (Yale) and on HBO as a part of the annual U.S. Comedy Arts Festival.

John is the recipient of the NEA Grant, the GLAAD Media Award for Best Theatre, the L.A. Weekly Award for Best Musical and Best Script, two Will Glickman Playwright Awards for Joy and Medea: The Musical, the BackStage West Garland Award, two Cable Car Awards, a San Francisco Guardian Goldie Award, an S.F. Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grant, a Zellerbach Grant and ten Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle Awards.

He received his Ph.D. from U.C. Berkeley in 2001 and has taught at U.C. Berkeley and U.C. Santa Cruz.

Combat John taught, in a two year appintment (2006-2008) in the Play Writing program at the Yale School of Drama. He currenlty teaches (2008-Present) at the American Conservatory Theatre.

He is currently working on a script about the Mahdi and the Sudan that is funded by a San Francisco Arts Commission Cultural Equity Grant.

Directing projects include Red Scare on Sunset for the American Conservatory Theatre’s MFA program and What the Butler Saw for Theatre Rhinoceros.

Play writing projects include Richard Burton's Voice at Yale, Special Forces in San Francisco, There's Something About Marriage at the New York Fringe Festival, and SexRev Fighting Mac!, Slugs and Kicks and To Sleep and Dream, all in San Francisco. Special Forces has been adapted as a screenplay.

See more information about John's work on the production page!