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Herrmann cast in ‘Young Abe Lincoln’

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By Corey Woolsey

If the woods in Spencer County, Indiana could talk, they may tell tales of a boy who grew to be a young man with a thirst for knowledge and resolve like no other.

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Abraham Lincoln traversed these woods and the Lincoln Amphitheatre now sits in that location.

‘Young Abe Lincoln,’ the play that was made famous in the Lincoln Amphitheatre, is back this summer for its 30th anniversary, and the first time in 12 years.

Matthew Herrmann, a 1999 graduate of Mount Vernon, will be playing teen Abe Lincoln.

Herrmann, after high school, attended Savannah College of Art and Design, where he continued to perform in a number of shows. At one event, he met Michelle Phillips of the Mamas and the Papas, who convinced him he should move to Los Angeles.

In California, Herrmann has worked in publicity and casting, but after awhile decided he wanted to pursue acting again.
He attended The Groundling’s School of Improvisation, and did a lot of theatre following that and has also appeared in a few shorts and short films.

He also was cast in Harper’s Globe, a web companion to Harper’s Island, a series that aired on CBS.
Recently, Herrmann connected with Ben Vereen and he is working on the 50th anniversary of Hair.
The role of Lincoln is not a new one for Hermann though.

“A few years back the visitors center wanted to update their video and I played Young Abe Lincoln in that,” said Hermann.

Herrmann is not new to the play itself.

He has played the boy Abe Lincoln in the play in years past, and has around 300 performances under his belt.
“I still don’t get tired of it,” said Herrmann.

The play itself tells the story of Lincoln’s years in Indiana from age seven to 21.

“It is a really fun show,” said Herrmann. “The thing about this show is yes, it focuses on Abraham Lincoln’s life, but it is his formative years. So it is about what is going on with him in respect to his surroundings The show really pays homage to the community.

Herrmann said that Indiana was an important time in Lincoln’s life, losing his mother at age nine and also losing a sister while in the state.

The show is being performed by all local actors through the Actors Community Theatre of Jasper.

‘Young Abe Lincoln’ opened on July 6. It will also run this Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 6 p.m. The show runs just over two hours. Admission for children 12 and under is free, and $3 off admission can be applied with code word “abe” at www.lincolnamphitheatre.com.