Rich Orloff


RICH ORLOFF is the author of OY!, a comic revue; HA!, a trio of one act comedies; plus ten other full length plays, including SHEDDING LIGHT, which won the 2000 Abeles Foundation Playwriting Award.

OY! is chicken soup for the funny bone, a collection of thirteen sketches and short comedies about all things Jewish and all things human. Although some of the sketches are designed primarily for Jewish audiences, most of them are meant to be enjoyed by everyone and have had success at short play festivals throughout the country.

OY! is designed to be performed on a simple set, with a cast of 3 men and 2 women.

When OY! was originally produced off Broadway in 1999, the New York Times wrote, “Good laughs. Highly entertaining. From some of these sketches you could kvell.” In Theatre wrote, “Goodnatured fun.. Each skit is as funny as the next. Its ninetyplus minutes are a bit of heaven.” Jewish Week wrote, OY! is a cry of delight. Pure comedy.”

HA! is a trio of Rich Orloff’s funniest and most popular oneact comedies. HA! is designed to be performed on a simple set, with a cast of 3 men, 2 women, and 1 performer of either sex. The one acts include:

OEDI, a farcical retelling of the Oedipus Rex story, faces the overlooked fact that if Oedipus married his mother, she had to be old enough to be his mother. And in this version, she’s a Jewish mother! When the play was produced at Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, the local critic described it as “Sophocles meets the Marx Brothers”. 3 m., 1 w., approx. 20 min.).

THE NEWS FROM ST. PETERSBURG, a Chekovian spoof set in 1905 Russia, examines the effect of a rumor on an aristocratic couple, their doctor, and an overworked and temporarily overjoyed serf. The New York Press wrote, “Orloff proves to be a genuinely witty writer, capable of imagination and deft jokes.” (3 m., 1 w., approx. 25 min.)

THE WHOLE SHEBANG asks the question, “What if the entire universe was just some nerd’s science project?” The play has been televised on General Motors Playwrights Theatre on A&E cable and has had over seventy productions in the United States, Canada, Brazil, Scotland, Austria, Germany and India. Variety wrote, “Orloff’s charming and whimsical comedy delivers impish fun, along with a thoughtful and provocative message..”
(1 m., 1 w., 4 either, approx. 45 min.)

HA! has been published by Playscripts, Inc. For information and to read excerpts, visit

SHEDDING LIGHT is a two character, full length play, which begins at dusk on December 22, 1999, just before the millennium. An African American cable repairman of about fifty arrives in a Manhattan highrise condominium apartment to fix the cable reception of a high-strung, Jewish woman of the same age. What begins as awkward banter builds into increasingly challenging and personal questions about race and religion, both for the man, still recovering from old wounds, and the woman, who is having a crisis of faith after a traumatic year.

When SHEDDING LIGHT was produced at Shadowland Theatre in the Catskills, the River Reporter called the play “an entertaining and insightful evening”. The Times Herald Record wrote, “A provocative play is masterfully done and worth seeing.”

To learn more about Rich’s plays, and to read excerpts, visit


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