The American History Theater was founded in 2014 by veterans Hal Berry and Amber Robinson. Berry met Robinson during her return to college after her Army service, as her history professor. Eventually Berry invited Robinson to help him with a theater project involving veterans. The project started out as a theatre project for college kids. But, in 2014 Berry bit the bullet and filed for our own 501C3 nonprofit status.
The American History Theater’s first play was “Waiting for MacArthur” and debuted October 28, 2014 at the Park Avenue Community Center in Escondido. Through an adaptation of that play we were able to establish our first San Diego community partnership with the Women’s Museum of California. During our partnership with WMOC we presented seven plays with them from the year 2015 to 2017.
We have also been honored to partner with The Veterans Museum at Balboa Park, with who we partnered for three plays and three fundraising shows from the year 2017 to 2019. We are now proud to call the San Diego Dance Theater a partner, with all our shows now presented at their White Box Live Arts performance space in Liberyt Station.
On October 28, 2015 The American History Theater hosted its first special event for women veterans at California State University San Marcos, “Women Veterans Advocacy: Understanding the Scars of Military Sexual Harassment and Assault”. This conference marked the first of many different events we would host to raise awareness about Military Sexual Trauma and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in veterans. We now host an annual interactive workshop that introduces alternative paths to healing trauma through the performance arts.
Our goals for the future are to continue to provide quality cause-based theatre to our San Diego community and to continue to grow our mission to help our fellow veterans through the arts.
Founder and President
A native of ST. Louis, Missouri, he joined the United States Navy right after high school and went through boot camp and Hospital Corps School here in San Diego. During the service and afterward, he pursued and completed a bachelor's degree and three masters degrees and retired from full-time college teaching in 2013. As a college professor, he initiated the concept of historical theater for his institution and held an annual festival each year to raise awareness of the nation's heritage. He retired in 2014 and was awarded the title of Emeritus Professor after some forty-six years of college teaching and, in 2003 having been awarded "The Governor's Award for Excellence in Teaching" from Robert Holden, Missouri Governor. He and Amber Robinson founded The American History Theater in 2014. He continues to teach part-time for Palomar College and St. Charles Community College.
Co-Founder & Senior Vice President
Amber Robinson is an Army combat veteran with 10 years of service and three combat tours to Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. She served as a photojournalist and public affairs soldier and leader and has traveled extensively throughout Afghanistan and Southeast Asia. Throughout her travels she has reported on and facilitated coverage of her fellow soldiers and their world-wide counterparts during war, training scenarios and in peacetime. She is the proud recipient of the coveted Bronze Star. After service Amber moved to San Diego and soon accepted the invitation to create The American History Theater. Through AHT she has been able to become an advocate for her fellow veterans who suffer from PTSD. As a disabled combat vet she seeks to use her story to inspire and educate others about the issues veterans face during reintegration into normal society. Amber is a contributing writer for San Diego Veterans Magazin, writing a monthly column called Arts and Healing which speaks to the healing properties of creativity. She is also a published poet, with her work being featured in the San Diego Poetry Annual for the last three years. She plans to continue to pursue all goals and talents here in beautiful San Diego.