* All photos by Richard Finkelstein; set design by Richard Finkelstein.


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Rules for Youse-2


  Orphan Train. Fairfield, Iowa. August, 2012. First Dress Rehearsal







2 thoughts on “Photos

    • KINDERTRANSPORT — Great Play! Yes, the idea of “saving” children through a mass relocation … very inspired and essential in times of national crisis. ORPHAN TRAIN is different, though, in that the U.S. Orphan Trains went on for 75 years and weren’t created in response to an imminent war or genocide. The Orphan Train movement was really about the changing economics of American society. An emerging urban society was creating “surplus children” and there was no “safety net” of small town families to take them in as would have occurred had they still been rural kids. My grandfather and great-grandfather, in fact, lost their dads when they were young children and living in frontier Wisconsin in the 1850s (great-grandfather) and Iowa in the 1890s (grandfather) … the siblings were dispersed to other families in the area because the widows weren’t able to manage a full family and a farm. But when tens of thousands of families began taking root in urban areas in the mid-1800s, there was no “village” to raise the child and tens of thousands of homeless and impoverished children was the result. A problem we still have today. The response then, as detailed in ORPHAN TRAIN, was to do something quite radical … send these children to foster care here they would hopefully be integrated into the social and economic structure of small-town America and not be destroyed by an urban environment that at the time had no organized way of humanely raising them into adulthood. Hey, nevermind the sociology — ORPHAN TRAIN has great songs!

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