Hello Herman Illuminates Issues of Bullying, School Violence
By Ryan Mulligan, Public Relations Manager, Moravian College Theatre Company
In mid-February, the Moravian College Theatre Company will present a production of Hello Herman, a play by John Buffalo Mailer that delves deeply into themes of mass media, bullying and cravings for attention, and how they drive people to commit unthinkable acts. The show revolves around the main character named Herman, a high school student who has been convicted of the murder of 39 of his classmates, three teachers and a bystander.
Mailer has made it clear that he intended to use his play to bring light to a subject he felt society is not fully investigating. "In times of national fear and existential questions, we need to open up our hearts and minds and really start listening to each other about the world we want to live in, and how to make that world our reality,” Mailer stated in a Huffington Post blog in July 2012. “Art is probably the safest place to question the issues of the day. That's why I wrote a play about how a combination of ingredients -- not one silver bullet -- leads to high-school violence."
The show has been performed numerous times since its premiere in 2001, usually incorporating extensive use of live and taped video and on-screen displays. However, director Bill Bauman ’74, business manager of the College’s Music Department, has his own vision for the play. His production will be completely void of the media. One of the themes of Hello Herman is the distraction of various media in people’s lives.
Rather than have the audience ’distracted,’ I've decided to focus on the words of the play and those acting them out.”
– Bill Bauman ’74
"Rather than have the audience ’distracted,’ I've decided to focus on the words of the play and those acting them out,” Bauman said. “Sets will be simplistic, again emphasizing the drama that enfolds.”
The cast includes several Moravian students, including Brian Welsko ’14, Hannah Stevens ’16, Maggie Callahan ’14, Caroline Leiby ’17, Leah Matusewicz ’17, Nichole Sternemann ’16, Lowell Perkins ’17, Morgan Fox ’17, Camille Nesbeth ’16, Ariel Hudak ’14 and Luke Muench ’15, who is serving as an assistant director.
Other cast members include Associate Professor of Biology Chris Jones; Moravian alumni Rob Hercik ’11 and Phil Minnich ’10; community actor Jack Armstrong; and Charter Arts High School student Chris Singer as “Herman.”
Lighting design is by Colin Lang, with sound design by Moravian alumus Chris Connelly ’99.
To further punctuate the production's message, Bauman will include a small gallery of newspaper articles collected during the show's rehearsal process alone. These articles will illuminate the bullying and school violence that run rampant throughout our country.
The shows will run Thursday, Feb. 13, through Sunday, Feb. 16. Thursday, Friday and Saturday’s performances will begin at 8 p.m., with Sunday’s starting at 2 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for students/senior citizens, $3 for Moravian College students, and $5 for Moravian College faculty and staff. Purchase tickets online at www.lvartsboxoffice.org. All performances are in the Arena Theatre, located on the lower level of the Haupert Union Building on Monocacy Street between Locust and Laurel Streets, one block west of Main Street.
Moravian College encourages persons with disabilities to participate in its programs and activities. Anyone who anticipates needing any type of accommodation or who has questions about the physical access provided should contact Christopher Shorr at 610 625-7880.
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