ďImagine a group of people who, for one reason or another are compelled to make a journey by foot across a desert strewn with patches of quicksand. Aware of the nature of the danger, but not of itís several locations, they have evolved prior to the journey, a pattern of travel, a set of warning signals, a complex shorthand to alert each other of possible danger ahead.
I picture this play, then, as their journey across the desert. We donít know the signals. We donít know the danger. All we see is a group of people each spaced apart from the other in a particular way, walking across a seemingly harmless stretch of sand. They make peculiar detours. They signal each other in curious ways. They laugh and joke to pass the time. They come closer together or drift away from each other, forming new patterns according to necessities we donít understand. And in the end, we know about them only what weíve learned from their behavior along the way.Ē
--Playwright Michael Weller on "Moonchildren".
Mr. Herrmann returns to Washington where he was born, after appearing for four months off-Broadway as Hinkle in The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel. He was last seen in Washington as Mortimer in Arsenic and Old Lace at Fordís Theater.
A graduate of Bucknell, Mr. Herrmann was a member of the Dallas Theater Centerís resident professional company for four years during which time he performed the roles of Alfred in Little Murders, Jussup in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, the title role in Vasco, Brindsley in Black Comedy, Valentine in You Never Can Tell and Charles Marlow in She Stoops to Conquer, among 40 other roles.
He was in India for some time making the film The Banyan Tree as the featured actor. After that he spent a year in London at LAMDA under a Fulbright Grant, appearing in the new Christopher Fry play of A Yard of Sun, in the role of Justice Balance in The Recruiting Officer, Orsino in The White Devil and Antigonus in The Winterís Tale. He has traveled extensively in Europe, studied Renaissance Art in Italy, and recently completed a small role in the film Mortadella with Sophia Loren.
-- Biographical Notes from "Moonchildren" playbill, November 1971
The cast of "Moonchildren" as performed at the Arena Stage in
Washington, DC in the fall of 1971 included Edward Herrmann,
Stephen Collins, Kevin Conway, Maureen Anderman, Christopher
Guest, Jill Eikenberry, James Woods, Cara Duff-MacCormick,
Donegan Smith, Robert Prosky, Ronald McLarty, Howard Witt,
Ted Hannan, Ben Kapen, Jean Schertler, Russell Carr, Mark
Robinson, and Richard David.
"I met Ed thirty years ago (!) when we were both in
the original cast of Michael Weller's play "Moonchildren,"
which premiered at Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage
in the fall of 1971."~Stephen Collins