“Hello Out There” by the American playwright William Saroyan tells about the bad luck of an itinerant gambler who is arrested and jailed in a small Texas town, charged with rape. The charge is a lie, but the only one who hears his call for justice and understanding is a young girl who cooks for the jail. The gambler gives all his money to the girl before a mob breaks into the jail and the lying woman’s husband shoots him.
“I first performed the play at The Actor’s Studio Drama School, a school, according to Shaz Khan (2011 ASDS MFA Acting Candidate), that has seen the likes of James Dean, Al Pacino, and Robert DeNiro. It was so well received, that the school asked me to declare it for my thesis,” he said.
Aspiring actor Shaz Khan visited Matador, Texas, during Winter Break to get an up-close-and-personal look at the inside of a turn of the century jail … as research for his upcoming Actors Studio Drama School MFA thesis project, William Saroyan’s dark one-act play, Hello Out There.
“It’s the story of a young drifter that has been dealt difficult cards all his life. He’s actually a good guy,” said Kahn, who developed a new perspective for his character as a result of his Matador trip. “I think the character reflects a lot of young men in our culture today,” he added.
The play will be performed May 11-14, 2011, in the Theater at Dance New Amsterdam near City Hall.