Tag Archive: Titanic


From the creator of Downton Abbey…and just in time for the 100 year anniversary of the disaster…

Miniseries airing in the US on ABC April 14-15, 2012


The Orphans

Well, this weekend I had my own “opening night”.  Well, actually it was Friday night.  I’m in Boerne Community Theatre’s production of, The Orphans, a play by James Prideaux.

Dramalist.com describes the play:

For the past 25 years Lily and Catherine Spangler have lived in seclusion in their hotel room, their only visitor being their lawyer, who delivers (in cash) the profits from the steel mill they inherited from their father. When they first moved into the Chalfont it was the best hotel in town, but the years have taken their toll, and now (although the sisters are not aware of it) it is rundown, almost deserted, and limping along with a skeleton staff. The clientele has suffered too; their next-door-neighbor is a prostitute with a heart of gold, and the bellhop, Herman, is a con artist who schemes to cheat the sisters out of the six million dollars he knows they have tucked away in a trunk by passing himself off as a long-lost cousin. Lily, the older sister, who has persuaded Catherine that she has protected her from “all the cares of the world,” is guarded and suspicious about all this, but the gentle, warm-hearted Catherine, who is aching to know more of life and the outside world, falls easily into Herman’s trap. Inevitably their isolation must end, but facing reality, and the truth, proves to be a great deal easier—and funnier—than either sister had ever imagined.

What’s interesting about this play is that, while the above quote aptly describes the plot…there are many different pieces of this story.

For one, the sisters have been living in this hotel room for 25 years, since losing their parents, who lost their lives on the Titanic.

(Side note:  It was interesting to find these headlines, with wrong information of the Titanic, that were printed at the time of the disaster.)

This is all to say that these two young girls lived through the devastating loss of their parents and have lived, since then, for 25 years in a hotel room with no outside influence and very little communication, other than hotel staff and their lawyer.  This is mainly due to the fact that the elder sister believes that their isolation will keep them safe.

The play takes place in 1937, a point at which the country was trying to pull itself out of The Great Depression.

Wall Street Crash of 1929

Great Depression bread lines

Depression era soup kitchen

It’s a strange, funny and sad story of two sisters, pretty much frozen in time, and the circumstances that lead them to finally open their door to the outside world.

Deborah Martin, of the San Antonio Express News says, “The piece is well-staged and solidly acted.

The cast of Boerne Community Theatre's production of The Orphans by James Prideaux