Article Title

The Orphan Train


Rebeca Wallin


Outstanding, Primary, Intermediate, Aurand Harris, Orphans, Mercy Trains, Child Emigration, Foster Care, Adoption, New York, Children's Theater, Plays for Young Audiences

Document Type

Play Review


“We ride the orphan train, the orphan train, Deserted, unwanted children, seeking, searching for a home.” So opens the first of eight vignettes, each telling the story of an orphan that has been placed on a train in New York City to be sent to a new home in the west. Based on a real historic practice that spanned over 75 years and placed over 250,000 children, this play focuses mainly on the positive side of the practice – six of the eight children end up in happy situations or homes despite some hardships along the way.