St. Mary School will compete in the PSIA One Act Play on Saturday, April 16, 2016. Cast & Crew have been announced to the students. Public performances will be held in March 2016.
Our play this year is "The Orphan Train" by Aurand Harris. The "Orphan Train" movement traces its roots to 1852, when immigration began to swell the population of New York City. Overcrowding and disease were rampant, and there was a breakdown in family life. In 1852, the New York Childrens' Aid Society was created. A plan was designed to send children ontrains to live with farm families in the West and Midwest. By the 1890s, at least 90,000 children were placed in homes outside New York City and every survey done showed how well this strategy had worked. The survey said that most children reported to be pleased with their new families, had adapted to farm life, and grew into healthy, independant adults. The actual sutiuation was more complex. There were children who bounced from one placement to another and others who found their way back to New York. The children traveled on westward bound trains, in the hopes of finding a better life. Stops along the waywere selected in advance. Flyers were mailed to the towns announcing the impending arrival of the children. From 1854 to 1929, when the "Orphan Trains" stopped running, approximently 250,000 children were relocated.