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Orphans - Broadway

Alec Baldwin and Ben Foster star in Lyle Kessler's drama.


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 Phillip is seemingly simple-minded and withdrawn, which forces Treat to become both caretaker and provider for his brother.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.

Should I See It?

What Is Orphans Like?
Orphans has a tight script, an original story and a hearty balance of comedic and dramatic moments that form an engaging tale. But the most profound asset Orphans brings to the stage is the chance for three actors to inhabit characters brimming with emotion and intensity. Alec Baldwin, Ben Foster and Tony nominee Tom Sturridge rise to the challenge and drive home performances that leave you in awe of their talent. Their character arcs are enhanced by John Lee Beatty’s seductively dingy set, and director Daniel Sullivan manages to mine the play’s comedic potential without undercutting the emotional authenticity of the performances. 

Is Orphans Good for Kids?

This is not a show for children. Orphans includes violent situations, adult language and adult themes.