Between 1854 and 1929, so-called orphan trains ran regularly from the cities of the East Coast to the farmlands of the Midwest, carrying thousands of abandoned children whose fates would be determined by luck or chance. Would they be adopted by a kind and loving family, or would they face a childhood and adolescence of hard labor and servitude? Prairie Lights tells the story of a Jewish brother and sister who journey west on an Orphan Train in 1905. Arriving with other homeless youths in a tiny Nebraska town just before the holidays, Benjamin and Rose are adopted by Wellspring’s only Jewish couple. Devout 12-year-old Benjamin clashes with Abe, a successful shopkeeper who has abandoned his religion. Meanwhile, 15-year-old Rose falls secretly in love with a fellow orphan, thus upsetting Sophie’s marriage plans for the girl. Townsfolk are further divided by the fearful banker, Maxwell Ryder, who wants to send all of the orphans back to New York. As the town prepares for Christmas and Hanukkah approaches, Benjamin finds himself enlisting the young people—orphans and local kids alike—on a quest to reunite Wellspring.
Ongoing from Friday, December 2 until Sunday, December 18, 2022