THE STORY: Video games, violent movies, Marilyn Manson, the Internet, Prozac, or fame? What moves a teenager to cross the line and become a high-school shooter? More importantly, how do we stop it? Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Lax Morales is looking for a follow-up to his groundbreaking undercover piece on white supremacists. Although his video blog has an unprecedented online following among teens, Lax has been written off as Internet trash by the elite of the publishing world. He needs a big story and he knows it. After killing thirty-nine students and three teachers in a suburban Iowa school, sixteen-year-old Herman Howards takes the time to email video clips of the incident to his idol, Lax. He adds one line to the clips: “I want to tell my story on your show.” The public pushes for Herman’s televised execution as Lax conducts three days of interviews, using every tool at his disposal to discover what drives the current poster-boy for evil. HELLO HERMAN is a mind-blowing examination of how tragic events like Columbine and Virginia Tech continue to happen in our country. No stone is left unturned as Lax searches for an answer to the question everyone’s been asking but no one has been able to find: Why?
“John Buffalo Mailer’s HELLO HERMAN is a powerful and important work, a darkly brilliant tone poem about America’s tango with violence and fame. Herman will get under your skin. He may even follow you home. What is certain is you won’t soon forget him. Go see HELLO HERMAN.” —Sam Kashner, Vanity Fair.
“HELLO HERMAN is what theater is supposed to be: relevant, powerful and fearless. I walked away thinking about the state of our country, the state of our youth, the state of our media, and the twisted glitz and cheap plastic that is (barely) holding together the blood and guts of the American condition. HELLO HERMAN needs to be seen in high schools, colleges, community theaters, and on street corners across this country. It needs to be held up as a mirror so that we see what we’ve become—a society that possesses so much potential, but like the wasted youth in the play, is sentencing itself to death before it ever even started to live.” —Jason Flores Williams.