theater & TeleVision
PLAYS & MUSICALS
Annie - The multi-award-winning musical based on the comic strip Little Orphan Annie.
Between: growing up (adopted) (Amy Mihyang Ginther) - Korean adoptee, poet, spoken word performer, advocate.
Bio-Hazard: a relative comedy (Sarah Elizabeth Greer) - Sarah's world is turned upside down when her quirky, over-the-top Greek biological mother crashes into her life.
Blank (Brian Stanton) - A male adoptee deftly plays multiple characters encountered in his quest for identity.
Blood Brothers (Willy Russell) - Twins "born and died on the self-same day" are separated and raised in very different households under an oath of secrecy. Six Tony Award nominations.
Broke Wide Open (Rock Wilk) - "A poetic and orchestral unveiling of truth with Rock Wilk as both maestro and menace."
Edward Albee Plays - The prolific, Pulitzer-winning playwright and adoptee who pioneered Theater of the Absurd.
Hamilton (Lin-Manuel Miranda) - The smash hit hip hop-influenced version of how an orphaned "bastard" son became a philandering US founding father and died young in a duel with fellow orphan-made-good Aaron Burr.
Les Miserables - Based on the novel by Victor Hugo, a hunted former criminal is driven to change his life after agreeing to care for the daughter of a dying cleaning woman.
Miss Saigon - As US troops are evacuating, a GI and the Vietnamese young woman he redeems from the bar/brothel culture face heart-wrenching decisions.
Oliver (Lionel Bart) - The musical adaptation of Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens.
The English American (Alison Larkin) - A humorous one-woman show about an American baby raised by British parents who returns to cultural awakenings about her Alabama origins.
The Good Adoptee (Suzanne Bachner) - Award-winning play that asks the question, "Can she find a way to integrate her dual identities and still remain 'The Good Adoptee'?"
Ungrateful Daughter (Lisa Marie Rollins) - "One black girl's story about being adopted into a white family...that aren't celebrities."
Various television series have featured orphans or adoptees. Following are some of the standouts:
Game of Thrones (Current) - Jon Snow, illegitimate son of a Northern Lord, is raised with half siblings but ignorant of his true parentage in order to protect him from enemies who do not wish to see him ascend the throne.
Mad Men (2007-2015) - Don Draper, an adoptee who assumes the identity of a dead WWII soldier, lives in the fast, cutthroat and loose world of the Madison Avenue advertising game.
Orphan Black - (2013-2017) A woman who was orphaned as child witnesses the death of someone who looks just like her, assumes the identity of the deceased, and dark secrets are revealed. Emmy winner for Best Actress.
The Pretender (1996-2000) - Jarod, taken from his family as a gifted boy and raised by people who are not his parents and a psychiatrist at "The Centre," escapes after learning that his keepers' experimental intentions are not as benevolent as they want him to believe.
This is Us (Current) - Randall is a black young man adopted into a white family. Critics and adoption community members alike say this show "gets it right" in terms of adoption dynamics and challenges.