What Is the Story of Orphans?
Lyle Kessler’s Orphans is the story of Phillip and Treat, orphaned brothers living in North Philadelphia. Phillip is seemingly simple-minded and withdrawn, which forces Treat to become both caretaker and provider for his brother. He does this by stealing, and he isn't beyond using violence to get what he wants. Phillip clearly idolizes Treat and is positive his brother knows best. Harold, a racketeer who drunkenly stumbles home with Treat one night, claims to be an orphan himself and has a briefcase is full of valuable stocks and bonds. Treat decides to hold Harold for ransom. As the story unfolds, Harold steps in as a father figure the boys never had.