But, perhaps their situation improves once they reach adulthood, and are able to buy tobacco, serve in the military, and hopefully support themselves. That doesn’t appear the be the case. Upon age 18, 20% of children in the foster care system are instantly homeless. Only half of those who are in the system have gainful employment by the time they are age 24. Fewer that 3% earn a college degree, while 25% are diagnosed with PTSD. [National Foster Youth Institute]
As we find out in this show, these boys dodged the foster care system in an attempt to stay together. This shouldn’t be a surprise, as 90% of homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes. [US D.H.H.S., Bureau of the Census]. This situation is not improving either, as currently 43% of US children live without their father [US Department of Census]. A generation of Treats and Phillips are in the making, and they may not have a Harold to pull them back to humanity.
- Soren Gillaspy
What strikes me most about Orphans is the element of trying to move forward. Everyone in the play is, or was, stuck, and in their own way they’re trying to make a change. The way they do that might not always be moral or admirable, but against all odds they are trying something. And the odds against them are huge. Growing up without parents is devastating, and this play presents a reality of that, but also offers a possibility of survival and betterment.
- Murren Kennedy