“Orphan Trains” is a series of vignettes based on true stories, taken from the primary records of the Children’s Aids Society of New York. The stories are told from the perspective of the orphan, detailing both uplifting and heartbreaking tales from their childhood.
From 1853 to 1929, The Orphan Trains Project joined adoptive parents with orphans in countless towns throughout America. It’s estimated that during this time 250,000 children who were orphaned, abandoned, and homeless were placed throughout the United States and Canada, thus known as the Orphan Train Movement.
When the Movement began, it was estimated that 30,000 abandoned kids were living on the streets in New York City.
The name “orphan train” came to be when Charles Loring Brace founded the Children’s Aid Society to help the homeless youths. The aid institutions developed a program to home children throughout the United States. Since the kids were taken to their new homes via train, the trains soon became known as “orphan trains.” It’s been 85 years since the last train.
At Green Brook Middle School, there’s a cast of 50 performing students, plus, an additional 15 working behind the scenes. Theatre Arts teacher, Mrs. Ferrara, is a volunteer who manages the crew.
Directed by Billy Alzaher, who has directed four other shows at Green Brook Middle School, “Orphan Train” is the first drama taken on so far. The show has been staged 130 times before, but this is a first for New Jersey.
Leads include: Lauren Quinn as Marlena, Vinnie Miller as Yakob, Aria Anthony as Justina, Erin Ptack as Chris, Leina Staudinger as Maria, Shaina Sadana as Patricia, Abby Wighard as Miss Wrightman, Mia Hionis as Mrs. Stokes, and Jordan Pincus as the narrator.
“Orphan Trains” will be performed on Thursday, December 14th and Friday, December 15th at 7 p.m. at the Green Brook Middle School auditorium. Doors open at 6:30. Tickets can be purchased at: seatyourself.biz/GreenBrookMS or at the door.
Photos from this and other events
can be found online at rennamedia.com
This album is also on the
Green Brook Gazette page on facebook.com.
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