"A Star Has Burnt My Eye"

Connie Converse

The World Premiere production opened on November 9, 2016 at The NEXT WAVE FESTIVAL at the BROOKLYN ACADEMY OF MUSIC (BAM), directed by Paul Lazar.

"The mystery of American composer Connie Converse's disappearance in 1974 is ongoing, and she may be lost forever.  But her spectacular music has been rescued and elevated to a marvelous level -- first by the music engineer Gene Deitch who recorded her in his kitchen in the 1950s, and very recently by Howard Fishman in a terrific evening in New York. 

These are great songs with unusual diversity, and the sweet and bluesey and classical voices with Fishman bringthem vividly back to us.  It's a great performance, and it demands more for Connie Converse -- concerts, a Broadway show, a film musical. Her music belongs to an America that barely knows it exists.  It's time for someone to rectify this historical neglect of a remarkable artist of the song."

- William Kennedy, Pulitzer-prize winning author of Ironweed

Read more about this project on GRASS CLIPPINGS

An original play with music, written by Howard Fishman and featuring the songs and letters of the obscure American singer, guitarist and composer Connie Converse (1924-?).

"Like stepping into a haunted dreamland."

 - New York Times CRITICS' PICK, November 2016


Read the Wall Street Journal feature

photos: Marina McClure

"Incredible, as was she; the show had me transfixed, joyful, and grateful. It reminded me, yet again, of what art is for."


"Deeply affecting."


"A STAR HAS BURNT MY EYE" has had work-in-progress showings at The Rattlestick Theater, Abrons Arts Center, Joe's Pub at The Public Theater,  at the Vox Festival at Dartmouth College, at The Brick Theater in Brooklyn, NY,  featuring the performers Howard Fishman, Charlotte Mundy, Jean Rohe and Liam Robinson in a workshop production directed by Sarah Hughes, and most recently at Celebration Barn in Paris, Maine, and at the Orchard Project. 

Read Howard's piece "Connie Converse's Time Has Come" on The New Yorker's website

"we are destroyed"

Reflections on the Donner Party tragedy of 1846

An original oratorio.

"You feel that you're present for something being born."

A 90-minute musical meditation,  “we are destroyed” is performed oratorio-style with four actors and four musicians.  Major work-in-progress showings of the piece have been performed and/or excerpted at: The Public Theater, The Steppenwolf Theatre,  The Pasadena Playhouse (in conjunction with Lincoln Center Directors Lab West) and, most recently, at The Abrons Arts Center in a workshop production directed by Ed Schmidt.




Manna-Hata is a play by Barry Rowell and features an original score by Howard Fishman, including the songs "In Time," "After A Massacre," "99 Cents" and "Discovery Music."

The play had its premiere at the former New York City Penn Station Post Office in the summer of 2013, featuring a large cast that included Everett Quinton and Lorna Hampson and was directed by Kathleen Amshoff..