nine two-character plays
by Rich Orloff

“Both funny and poignant.  Orloff moves the action in unexpected ways to create real dramatic tension.  There are wildly imaginative flights.”
– The New York Times

“An exhilarating evening demonstrating the different bonds human beings seek in their personal voyages of discovery.  It’s a nice showcase that fully demonstrates Orloff’s talents for writing with heart, hope and humor about people who need people.”
– Back Stage (Critic’s Pick)

“A treat for the audience.  Each of these pieces has its own distinct voice and shows Orloff’s great range as a writer.  He manages to address some heavy issues that affect relationships, infusing each with a delicate balance of humor and gravity.  COUPLES is a lighthearted evening that is fun and thought- provoking.”

“The evening is very entertaining.  For those who have never experienced Rich Orloff’s work, COUPLES is an outstanding place to begin.”
– Off-Off-Broadway Review

COUPLES is a collection of acclaimed short two-character comedies and dramas about love, lust, romance and relationships. The plays have been produced together and individually, winning awards and accolades across the country.

The plays include:

MATTERHORN – Waiting in line at Disneyland, a husband and wife bicker until the husband comes up with a startling solution to their marital woes.  Winner of the 2005 Palm Springs National Short Play Festival’s Audience Favorite Award. (1 w., 1 m.)

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CLASS DISMISSED – As a gay college professor, forced to leave campus because of a scandal, packs his office, one of his students arrives with a provocative question.  2nd Place winner of the 1999 Robert Lehan Playwriting Award. (2 m.)

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LION TAMER – A man considers purchasing a woman’s home, or is it all foreplay? Off-Off Broadway Review called it “sexy, funny and disturbing”. (1w., 1 m.)

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AFTERNOON SUN – When a man and a woman meet in a hotel room for a tryst, the woman gets her needs met not by the man but from a surprising source. Winner, 1998 Tennessee Williams Playwriting Competition. Central New Mexico Chronicle called it “breathtaking”. (1 w., 1 m.)

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HEART OF THE FIRE – A waitress in her twenties at an East Village bar gets an unwanted visit from a man she knows, with a request she’d rather not hear.  When the play was produced at Vital Theatre Company in New York, Off-Off-Broadway Review called it a “small gem”. (1 w., 1 m.)

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OH HAPPY DAY – At home after work, two men in a long-term relationship unwind.  One is political and the other has a surprise present for him. Back Stage wrote, “Each tossed off quip and funny expression fills the house with energy.” (2 m.)

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INVISIBLE WOMAN – When a woman and her boyfriend meet at a bar, the man asks how she is.  The woman considers the question dangerous. (1 w., 1 m.)

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RIGHT SENSATION – When a man and a woman who have met at a bar go to her apartment, they both hope for sex but end up with something more.  The New York Times called it “a fine little play”.  Published in The Best American Short Plays 2013-2014. (1 w., 1 m.)

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Bonus play: AFTERGLOW – As a shy young man and bold young woman recover from a spontaneous afternoon of passion, the two have extremely different desires for what should happen next.  Premiered at Ensemble Studio Theatre/L.A. (1 m., 1 w.)

read an excerpt

COUPLES is published and licensed by Playscripts, Inc.  To read lengthier excerpts, order books, or obtain performance rights, visit Rich’s page at

more critical praise


“hostility to the point of hilarity”
– Miami New Times

“Orloff’s tongue-in-cheek dialogue dances well.”
– New Theater Corps

“A cute play with funny yet realistic dialogue”
– Off-Off-Broadway Review


“the boldest and most memorable piece… sexy… playful”
– New Theatre Corps

“One of the all-around strongest plays of the evening. Sexy, funny and disturbing”
– Off-Off-Broadway Review


“Interesting and timely. A lovely little play”
– Off-Off-Broadway Review


“The play is sweet and tender, a true delight.”
– Off-Off-Broadway Review

“both hilarious and poignant”
– Palm Beach New Times

“honest, funny – and in the end, touching”
– Tarryton Patch