“The Orphan Train,” an original musical, will premiere Thursday, May 12 at 7 p.m. in the cafetorium of Searsport District Middle/High School, 24 Mortland Road. The show will continue Friday, May 13 at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, May 14 at 2 and 7 p.m.

“The Orphan Train,” is appropriate for all ages.  Directed by SDHS senior Jessica Ploszaj and assisted by senior Marion Nickerson, the show began as a collaborative effort in 2006 of the Let’s Write a Show program. Some of the actors in the show were part of that original effort. This year, Ploszaj wrote in the characters and the dialogue and is bringing it to life on stage as part of her Senior Experience at SDHS.

As the show opens, Grandpa and Grandma are traveling with their grandchildren by train to an uncle’s house. The train is delayed and the two begin to tell the story of how they met, singing “Once Upon a Day Gone By.” The storyline then takes grandchildren Floyd and Vicky back to the time in history when orphan trains headed west from the east coast of the United States to find street children new homes.

Floyd and Vicky meet a group of these children at the Sunny Dale orphanage; they sing “Come On I’ll Show You Around” and do a rousing clean up in “Sometimes Life Can be a Chore!” John and Johanna sing about family lost and a hope for finding “A Family for Me.”

The two time travelers ride with the orphan children on their “Train of Hope.” When riding “The Orphan Train,” not all the children find families on their first, second or even third stops, and they sing about their sadness at this situation in “Losing Hope.” Floyd and Vicky find the bonds of friendship are strong, however, even through tough times, and the hopeful orphans have the “Best Day of My Life.”

The cast and crew includes Miles Martin, Karigen Coffin, Cassi McKay, Madison Philbrick, Sophie Noonyenooneam, Jade Hanson, Marion Nickerson, Alicen Brooks, Alivia Cross, Mackenzie Philbrick, Hannah Valliere, Emma Reynolds, Morgan Hutcheson, Heidi Ploszaj, Jazmine Robbins, Brooklyn Alberts, Jessica Ploszaj, Makala Coyne, Mikaela Ally, Kaylee Knowles, Grace O’Brien, Holden Clapp, Cole DuBois, Hannah Nadeau, Brianna Housman, Paige Ireland, Naya Krienke, Vicki Wilbur, Lindsay Ward and adults Joe DuBois, who also provides parent support to the production, and faculty member Chris Goosman, who is producing the show.

Lighting is operated by Jason Brooks with sound operation by Mackenzie Philbrick.

Admission at the door will be $5, $3 for students, younger children and senior citizens.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to dernest@villagesoup.com.