Due to creative differences, the producers of Orphans and Shia LaBeouf will be parting ways and he will not be continuing with the production. An announcement on the replacement for the role of “Treat” will be made shortly.
Orphans, by Lyle Kessler and directed by Daniel Sullivan, stars Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge. Production dates remain unchanged thus far, with previews beginning March 19 and opening night on April 7 at the Schoenfeld Theatre.
In the play, two orphaned brothers are living in a decrepit North Philadelphia row house. Treat, the eldest, (formerly LaBeouf), supports his damaged younger sibling Phillip (Sturridge) by petty thievery, and makes the house a virtual prison for the seemingly simple-minded Phillip. One night he kidnaps a rich older man, Harold (Baldwin), who turns out to have his own motives and becomes the father figure the boys have always yearned for.
Orphans premiered in 1983 at The Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles where it won the Drama-Logue Award. Following its 1985 engagement at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre, the play had a successful run at New York’s Westside Arts Theatre and was subsequently produced in London. A film version was also produced.
Lyle Kessler’s Orphans has been an international success in almost every country in the world since its initial production at Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Other plays include The Watering Place, Possession, Robbers and Unlisted. Collision had its world premiere at the Rattlestick Theatre Co. this season. Films include Orphans, Gladiator, The Saint of Fort Washington and Touched, in which he co-starred. Mr. Kessler served as the director of the Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab and was moderator of the playwright/directors unit of the Actors Studio West. He is a member of The Actors Studio and The Labyrinth Theater Co. He and his wife, actress Margaret Ladd, founded the “Imagination Workshop,” the longest running arts and mental health organization in the country.