Are you looking for compelling, thoughtful, understated humor in full-length or one-act plays about Arizona's historical personalities?
A RIDE ON THE ORPHAN TRAIN, a full-length, adult play won first prize and $500 in a new play series sponsored by The Artist's Path during its recent play festival of staged readings at Prescott College.
Based on real people and a devastating historical incident, A RIDE ON THE ORPHAN TRAIN delves into the mystery of the only orphan train that came to Arizona carrying three nuns and forty orphans. It explores why some of the children were kidnapped and one allowed to die.
"As we move into the celebration of Arizona's Centennial it is appropriate, indeed imperative that we celebrate not simply the notion of a past that is heroic, but explore the bad deeds that are often glossed over with a patina of romanticism. Dorothy Daniels Anderson refuses this path. Her play, A RIDE ON THE ORPHAN TRAIN, demands that we face the skeletons in one of Arizona's many closets. In a no-nonsense, stringent, incisive look into the past, she reminds us that our forebears did not always listen to their better angels, that they acted out of self interest--in this case an attitude that led to the death of one orphan and the abduction of others who were brought from New York City to find a new life in the territory of Arizona. Don't miss the opportunity to see this courtroom drama set in 1905 that foreshadows the issues that confront us today with the Arizona-New Mexico border. Racial and religious prejudice, environmental issues and self-serving politicians--the play has it all."
- Gail Mangham, Artistic Director of The Artist's Path
"This play was so intriguing that I googled the incident as soon as I got home. As a 4th generation Arizonan, once again I'm ashamed of my state. A RIDE ON THE ORPHAN TRAIN has stuck with me a long time. Thank you for bringing this story to us."
- Monica Beck, audience feedback from the finalist stage readings at Prescott College
"I loved the voice of this play. I could understand Sister Anna Michaella. In fact, I think the conflict between her duty, her love of the children and the darker side, her prejudice and even her arrogance is compelling. I grew up Catholic and though nuns choose a life of purity, conviction and love, I have to say it was rare that I found a nun who could truly deny her baser character completely. That makes Sister Anna very interesting."
- Dianne Jacobson, actress