"A Star Has Burnt My Eye"


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

"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

A New York Times CRITICS' PICK

"Deeply affecting."




"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..

Theater Bio

Howard Fishman began his theater career at the age of 12,  performing in local productions in Hartford, CT.  He served literary internships as Hartford Stage Company, Williamstown Theater Festival, and The Long Wharf Theater, and received his BA in Dramatic Literature from Vassar College, where he helped form a guerilla theater group called The American Theater Company that would eventually take up residence in Poughkeepsie, NY,  before moving to NYC.

As an actor and director, Fishman studied with Jose Quintero and Estelle Parsons, and is an alum of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab. In 1997,  Fishman produced and directed the American premiere of Krasnogorov’s The Dog at Todo Con Nada;  the world premiere of Elmer Rice’s final play Court of Last Resort at The Culture Project, and a staged reading of Rice's Street Scene at The Signature Theater. As a theater scholar, he has lectured on playwrights Eugene O'Neill and Susan Glaspell, was the primary research assistant for O'Neill biographers Arthur and Barbara Gelb from 1997-2013, and has been a guest theater lecturer at The Hotchkiss School and at Skidmore College.

Fishman's play On The L was produced by Peculiar Works in NYC at Expanded Arts, his theatrical oratorio we are destroyed" has had workshop showings at the Public Theater, at The Abrons Arts Center, and at the Pasadena Playhouse; and his play "A Star Has Burnt My Eye" had its world premiere at The Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), as part of the 2016 Next Wave Festival. As a theater composer, he was commissioned by Peculiar Works to compose an original score for Barry Rowell's Manna-Hatta is currently collaborating with playwright Christopher Wall on two new projects.