GEORGE AS PLAYWRIGHT
Mr. Herman had his first play “A Christmas Choice,” produced while still in elementary school. The nuns thought it was by Dickens.
In Graduate school at Catholic University he won the Hartke Playwrighting Award for his one-act comedy, “The Pygmalion Effect.” His musical version of Mark Twain’s “Huckleberry Finn” was produced on the main stage and described by one local critic as “the students prance.”
His play “A Company of Wayward Saints” won the McKnight Foundation Humanities Award in Drama in 1963, and has remained in print for more than 45 years and averages 40 productions a year which is more than you can say for “Cuckoos on the Hearth.” More than 100 of his 132 radio, TV and stage plays have been produced by 38 universities, several regional and semiprofessional theaters, in all 50 states and Canada, New Zealand, Brazil, the Virgin Islands, Australia, Germany, Egypt and Senegal, probably accounting for a large part of world unrest.
In 1985 his play on Henry of Navarre, “The King Has Gone to Tenebrae”, won the Roberts Theatre Institute Award from the University of Northern Michigan, and he won two Julie-Harris-Beverly Hills Theatre playwrighting awards, the first in 1974 for his play on Picasso, “The Man in the Cordoban Hat”, and in 1993 for “Pious Nine is Falling Down”. During his years in Hawaii, Mr. Herman won two international playwrighting competitions co-sponsored by the University of Southern Illinois for his play on Lincoln, “Mr. Highpockets” (1968) and his play on Gandhi, “A Stone for Either Hand” which for some inexplicable reason was also translated into Hungarian 1970.
He won eight Kuma Kahua (New Stages) awards from the university of Hawaii from 1971 to 1980, because he was one of the few who could pronounce the Hawaiian works without grunting. Two of the, “Nine Dragons” in 1976 and “The Hidden place” in 1980, also one awards from the ayling Foundation for new plays for children (not the ailing foundation.) While in the islands, he also wrote and produced the musical “The Colonel’s Lady and Why She Wasn’t” - a tribute to the Marx Brothers from whom he stole the material. His ballet for children, “Fraidy Cat”, was premiered in October, 1997, by the Oregon Festival Ballet. He did not dance in it - although the critics weren’t quite sure.
In 1983, the Hawaii State House of Representatives passed resolution 834 commending Mr. Herman for “16 years of enhancing the quality of theatre through his skillful efforts as an actor, director, playwright and as a perceptive, candid drama critic,” and rejoicing that he was finally leaving the islands.