Daniel Fish graduated from Northwestern University with a BS in performance studies. From 1989 to 1993 he worked as the assistant director to Michael Kahn at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. Following this, he freelanced, directing conceptually experimental productions of Moliere and Shakespeare, including iconoclastic productions of Twelfth Night at The Shakespeare Theatre, Romeo and Juliet at Great Lakes Theater Festival, and Tartuffe for the Court Theatre.
.In 2002, Fish's production of Charles Mee's True Love opened in New York City at a former zipper factory. The New York Times hailed Fish's work as, "the most inventive directorial effort of the year."  He continued to direct Shakespeare and Moliere including controversial productions of Tartuffe and Hamlet for the McCarter Theatre and Merchant of Venice for California Shakespeare Theatre. During this time, he began branching out into new work, directing productions of David Rabe's The Black Monk for Yale Repertory Theatre, Poor Beck for the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Charles Mee's Paradise Park for Signature Theatre Company.
In 2006, Fish directed an acclaimed production of Clifford Odets' Rocket to the Moon, which premiered at Bard SummerScape and went on to Long Wharf Theatre. The New York Times called the production, "heartfelt, freshly conceived and rich in moments that illuminate the tenderness of Odets's vision..." 
He directed another Odets play, Paradise Lost, for the American Repertory Theater in 2010. His direction divided critics and audiences alike.
Fish has enjoyed regular collaborations with Bard Summerscape, directing a number of original projects, including The Elliott Smith Project (based on the work of indie rocker Elliott Smith), Kock Fight Club (an adaptation of A Midsummer Night's Dream).
In 2010, Daniel Fish began a theatrical investigation into the work of David Foster Wallace at the University of Rochester. The piece is being workshopped at the Baryshnikov Art Center in late 2011 and will make its New York City premiere in March 2012 at The Chocolate Factory.
In January 2011, Fish directed an adaptation of Nicholas Ray's film Bigger Than Life, entitled Tom Ryan Thinks He's James Mason Starring in a Movie By Nicholas Ray in which a Man's Illness Provides an Escape from the Pain, Pressure and Loneliness of Trying to be the Ultimate American Father, Only to Drive Him Further Into the More Thrilling Though Possibly Lonelier Roles of Addict and Misunderstood Visionary. The work opened at Incubator Arts Project; Time Out NYC gave it 5 stars, saying, “The sexiest thing…is Fish's approach, which both loves and ironizes its source, both chills and reheats old material. I left thinking of all the many pieces I want Fish to do in this noir literalist style—and wondering impatiently how quickly he can start.”.
Regular collaborators include Kaye Voyce, Joshua Thorson, Scott Zielinski, Thomas Jay Ryan, and Andrew Lieberman, and Peter Pucci.
Awards and Honors
As of 2011, Mr. Fish is in post-production for a film, The Dollar General, which he wrote, directed, and produced.