By Susan Mach
The Lost BoyJanuary 8, 2013 - February 10, 2013
Directed By Allen Nause
In a culture of fear and exhibitionism, who preys upon whom?
A 4-year-old boy is snatched and held for ransom by down-on-their-luck roustabouts. His father, the police and P.T. Barnum attempt to outsmart the captors using newspaper headlines, trains and death-defying trickery, while a mother mourns what she has lost. Meanwhile, Tom Thumb, the Strong Man, a trapeze artist and a Circassian psychic create their own acts at the boy’s expense. Loosely based on true story, this media frenzy and entertainment spectacle of 1874 is a tightrope mystery where a boy’s life hangs in the balance amid the self-serving interests of white collars and circus-folk vying for the upper hand.
*Member of Actors Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States
THIS SHOW RUNS APPROXIMATELY TWO HOURS AND 30 MINUTES WITH ONE INTERMISSION.
BEHIND THE SCENES: Join the cast for a Post-Show Discussion after the 2pm matinee performances on January 13, 20, 27, 30 and February 3.
Happy Hours, Surprise Nights and Book Clubs! Click here to see a full schedule of Audience Enrichment Events.
Click here to read a detailed synopsis of our productions. Spoiler Alert!
STUDY GUIDE! Click here to download a detailed Study Guide for this production. A great resource!
"Writing plays is like committing crimes, Portlander Sue Mach says: "You always tell yourself you're only going to do one more." The Oregonian's Marty Hughley wrote a feature article on playwright Susan Mach that graced the cover of this week's A&E section. Read the full story here.PRODUCTION HISTORY:
This world premiere is based on the historical events surrounding what is generally considered to be the “first ransom kidnapping” in America. In 1874, 4-year-old Charles Ross, or “Little Charlie,” and his 6-year-old brother were lured by two men into a carriage outside their home in Philadelphia. The men drove them around the city for two hours before dropping off the older boy. Charlie, however, was never seen again. His father, a wealthy businessman named Christian Ross, received a letter demanding $20,000 for the safe return of his son. Countless publications nationwide, including the New York Times, and circus promoter P.T. Barnum, who offered a $10,000 reward for Charlie, helped raise awareness of the case but also benefited from the chaos they created. For years, Christian Ross received hundreds of tips of sightings of Charlie across the United States, Canada, and England, including men claiming to be Charlie himself; none were legitimate. The two kidnappers were named but died before going to trial, and the fate of “Little Charlie” remains unknown. In 2009, Mach read from The Lost Boy as part of the Made in Oregon series at JAW Playwrights Festival, sponsored by Portland Center Stage.
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"Education might be changing, but, at least for this playwright and teacher, the old adage still holds: write what you know," writes Aaron Scott for Portland Monthly Magazine's Culturephile in a feature article on playwright Sue Mach. Click here to read the full story.
Marty Hughley reviews the world premiere production of The Lost Boy, noting many strong performances and calling Allen Nause's direction "psychologically scrupulous" - read the full review here.“That was a unique cultural experience and why I love living in Portland!” - Audience member
"There’s no doubt of Mach’s craft as a writer here," said Alison Krieger in a review for Portland Stage Reviews. "The artful use of metaphor and imagery underscore the visual aspects of set design, resulting in an aesthetically pleasing experience throughout." Read the full article here.
“I loved it. I loved the script, I loved the set, I am so glad I saw it.” - Audience member
BroadwayWorld.com posted a nicely detailed "Photo Flash" article about Sue Mach and The Lost Boy -- replete with many photos. Check it out here.“A very interesting tale from the 1800s which resonates today.” - Audience member