The Orphan Train
Author: Aurand Harris
Publisher: Anchorage Press (UK)
Release Date: July 01, 1998
Play script by Aurand Harris. A highly theatrical story, moving, amusing, and always tellingly human of nine orphans on an Orphan Train that left New York City on May 28, 1914, and traveled to midwestern towns in search of homes for the children. Open stage, period costumes of the day. Written for 3 boys and 6 girls (one dressed as a boy), 7 men and 8 women - - who may be played by as few as 1 man and 1 woman.
Orphaned, unwanted children, seeking a hope of home, any home, anywhere. There's Mary, Evie, spunky Pegeen, Annie, and Little Lucy, a quiet one. There's Frank (who later becomes Frankie a small girl), Raymond, Lucky, and Danny the song-and-dance boy. And there are the men and women hoping for children. The lonesome whistle wails as the train chugs between encounters of anxiety, laughter, wistfulness, rejection and acceptance. Eight stories unfold, each a memorable surprise. Premiered at Northwestern University in Evanston, and acclaimed throughout Chicago, THE ORPHAN TRAIN is a charming heart-warmer, all we expect from Aurand Harris, the great playwright of and for children in the twentieth century.