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

Running time: 2 hours and 15 minutes, plus one 15-minute intermission and a 5-minute pause

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.

Creative team

Lisa Peterson · Director
Neil Patel · Scenic Design
Raquel Barreto · Costume Design
Alexander V. Nichols · Lighting Design
Paul James Prendergast · Sound Design / Composition
Aaron Preusse · Fight Director
Jo Holcomb · Dramaturg
McCorkle Casting, Ltd./Pat McCorkle · Casting
Amy Potozkin · Casting
Jennifer Liestman · Casting
Kathy Rose · Stage Manager
Jessica Berman · Dialect Coach
Dave Maier · Fight Consultant
James McGregor · Production Assistant
Victoria Northridge · Studio Teacher


Sarah Agnew · Sara Muller
Elijah Alexander · Kurt Muller
Emma Curtin · Babette Muller
James Detmar · Joseph
Kate Guentzel · Marthe
Jonah Horowitz · Bodo Muller
Hugh Kennedy · David Farrelly
Leontyne Mbele-Mbong · Anise
Caitlin O’Connell · Fanny Farrelly
Silas Sellnow · Joshua Muller
Jonathan Walker · Teck De Brancovis

Gripping…Lisa Peterson’s potent staging of the play…amplifies its unsettling echoes with the here and now…Suspense fuels the stylish period piece, a thrilling cross between a political parable and a drawing-room farce…A mesmerizing [Elijah] Alexander burns with the gravity of Kurt’s mission, his unyielding fight to free the world of fascism. His eventual explosion is one of the play’s finest moments.”

Mercury News / Bay Area News Group

Visually stunning…A captivating look at how individuals come into activism.”

Daily Cal

This production is so compelling, so brisk in its pace, so beautifully performed and elegantly staged that it deserves your attention even if its underlying message wasn’t so vitally important.”

Talkin’ Broadway

A thunderclap of a play…will have no trouble capturing the attention of a modern audience.”


Watch now

Official trailer: Watch on the Rhine

See why audiences call Lillian Hellman’s classic play “suspenseful” and “thrilling!”

Lisa Peterson on Lillian Hellman

Director Lisa Peterson shares why Watch on the Rhine playwright Lillian Hellman was such an influential public figure and writer.

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.

See photos

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Photos courtesy of Kevin Berne/Berkeley Repertory Theatre

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