Watch on the Rhine

Watch on the Rhine

Watch on the Rhine

By Lillian Hellman
Directed by Lisa Peterson
Co-production with the Guthrie Theater
Main Season · Roda Theatre
November 30, 2017–January 14, 2018

It’s 1940—and Fanny Farrelly, a wealthy matriarch living in Washington, DC, is about to learn it’s no longer the world she once knew. After spending 20 years abroad, Fanny’s daughter arrives home with her German husband, Kurt, an anti-fascist activist. When a houseguest and Nazi sympathizer threatens to turn Kurt in, the family discovers how far they’ll go to fight for what they believe—and for each other. Written in 1941 by activist playwright Lillian Hellman, Watch on the Rhine is a timely examination of moral obligation, sacrifice, and what it means to be American.

We expect this show to include one 15-minute intermission. We’ll update this information, and add running time, once we have confirmation.

Berkeley Rep offers an advisory about any stage effect of potential concern to patrons’ health. We will post this information as soon as it’s available. We don’t offer advisories about subject matter, as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have any concerns about content, please contact the box office.

Season sponsors

BARTPeet’s CoffeeWells Fargo

Lead sponsor

The Bernard Osher Foundation

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Current ticket prices

Premium: $57–97 · Section A: $50–81 · Section B: $30–65

We offer special pricing to patrons under 35, groups of 10+, military personnel, and more. Check out all our discounts.

Prices are subject to change at any time. Generally, your best bet is to buy early. Weeknight tickets tend to cost less than weekends. For the consistently lowest prices, see any three or more subscription plays.

Watch on the Rhine calendar

A clarion call for moral clarity…They say that history repeats itself—first as tragedy, then as farce. We can’t be sure about how to describe the current political moment. But Watch on the Rhine…in Lisa Peterson’s stately and absorbing production…suggests that it could be both at once…The stately Farrelly household, a metaphor for a nation of people from different parts of the world, is fractured by external forces pressing on it. People must decide whether to fight for what is right or acquiesce to what is expedient…For a work with such charged politics, it’s not ham-fisted or heavy-handed. In fact, it feels like a very human story with some unusual characters…This Watch, with its impulse for moral clarity, calls out to audiences and artists today.”

Star Tribune

Watch now

Behind the scenes: Lisa Peterson

The director of Lillian Hellman’s Watch on the Rhine reveals more about this classic political thriller.

Introducing Watch on the Rhine

Lillian Hellman’s classic political thriller.

Docent talks and discussions

Pre-show docent talks

Meet us in the Theatre an hour before the show on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings and Sunday matinees for an engrossing presentation about your subscription-season play. Hear about the playwright’s perspective, dive into the historical context, and discover why the script is relevant right now. Each 30-minute talk includes plenty of time for your questions.

Post-show docent-led discussions

Join your fellow audience members after all matinees and share your thoughts on the show.

Interested in becoming a docent? Click here for details. For more information about Berkeley Rep’s docent program, please email

Teen Night

Teen Night gives local teens the opportunity to meet for dinner and a behind-the-scenes discussion with a member of the artistic team before attending each subscription-season production at an extremely discounted price.

  • Friday, December 1, 2017

Teen Night begins at 6:30pm at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre. Tickets are $10. Learn more. To reserve your space, call Teen Council at 510 647–2984 or email

Post-show discussions

Stick around after select performances for lively Q&A sessions with our artists on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday nights.

  • Thursday, December 7, 2017
  • Tuesday, December 12, 2017
  • Friday, December 22, 2017