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Theater Contest

Act IT out
Theater Contest

Win a chance to perform in New York
in front of a Broadway Industry crowd

What is The Hello Herman Project?

The Hello Herman Project is a creative tool that utilizes John Buffalo Mailer’s play Hello Herman, as a catalyst designed for educators to engage their students in a conversation about the various factors that lead to school violence, and more importantly, how we can prevent it.

As an incentive to get students further engaged in this important discussion, The Hello Herman Project is launching two contests (one theater, one video) and is providing teachers with a corresponding educators guide to lead the conversation.

Why was The Hello Herman Project Created?

Teachers are truly up against it these days. The amount of distractions that today’s educators have to contend with is mind blowing. Cell phones, smart phones, Twitter, Facebook, apps, video games, you name it. Attention span is at an all time low and with the advent of Google, kids no longer feel the need to go to adults to ask the hard questions. Why would they, when an infinite number of answers are available at their fingertips?

This is why, in 2012, a group of like-minded friends (who all work in various fields of entertainment and education, and who were all concerned about the escalating bullying and violence we are seeing in our schools and online) got together to figure out a way to make it easy for teachers to use theater and video in the classroom to explore the causes of school violence and to spark conversations about how to prevent them from continuing to happen.

From gun control, to bullying, to video games, to movies, to the internet, to divorce, to mental illness, to feelings of isolation in an ever-changing world, The Educator’s Guide to Hello Herman covers it all, while the chance to win the nationwide contest (that could potentially lead to a career in the arts) is designed to grab their attention and get them involved.

As a teacher, how do I enter my students in the contest?

If you are a high school or college educator in and are interested in incorporating The Hello Herman Project into your curriculum, just go the website www.thehellohermanproject.com and choose one of the following:

  1. Register to direct a full production of Hello Herman at your school, entering the contest and getting the chance to bring your students to New York City to perform your production in front of a crowd of Broadway industry tastemakers.
  2. Mentor as many students as you like in the on-line video contest, where students make three to five minute videos, riffing off of scenes from the play, and entering to win a chance to go with you on a director’s dream vacation to Los Angeles where they will meet with A-list talent across a number of fields

Theater Contest

The Hello Herman Project’s Act It Out theater contest is a way for students and teachers to create a context through which to explore the reasons school shootings continue to happen at such an alarming rate in our country, by putting on a full production of the play.

As an incentive to get students involved and start this discussion at your school, THHP will bring the winning high-school and college productions of registered Hello Herman productions between September, 1st, 2013 and June, 30th, 2014 to New York City to perform their show for a one night only special event in front of entertainment industry tastemakers.

The contest is open to all High-school and college theater departments and communities. Registration is open now and will run through December 31st of 2013.

The winning productions from each category will perform in New York in July of 2014.

Here’s how to apply:

Step 1: Register your production with Dramatists Play Services as is required by U.S. Copyright law in accordance with the standards of their school performance fees and policy.

Step 2: Register your production with The Hello Herman Project. Click here to register.

Step 3: Create a Facebook Fan Page for your production. Use it as a way to document who you are, who came together for this production, and what it was like to be a part of this project to use art to end bullying and school violence. Highlights from several participating members’ pages will be included in a documentary which will be made once the contest has reached completion.

Step 4: Once the production is up and running, make a recording of what you believe to be the best 3 to 5 minutes of the show, and post that on your site along with as much of the production as you like.

Judging Criteria:

Schools will be selected based on how many Facebook “likes” they can get for their production, but it is important to note that the number of “likes” is considered in proportion to the number of students attending your school.

The five schools in each category (High-School and College) that get the largest percent of their classmates discussing the issues and possible solutions to bullying and gun violence raised in Hello Herman and the accompanying Educator’s Guide, then go on to the finals, where their 3 to 5 minute excerpt will be watched by our panel of industry professionals. The judges will pick their favorite from each criteria based on their discretion.

The two productions that get the most votes win.

(Note: In addition to the ten finalists, one production from each category will be selected by the staff as our “underdog pick”, a production that we felt worked incredibly hard but for whatever reasons did not get enough likes to make it into the finals. The staff who is part of choosing the underdog pick will be barred from judging the winner of the finalists.)