Rich Orloff


RICH ORLOFF is the author of 18 award-winning full-length plays, plus over 80 short plays.  His works have had over 2000 productions on six continents (and a staged reading in Antarctica).  His plays have been presented at several AJT theaters, including Theatre Ariel in Philadelphia, Jewish Ensemble Theatre in Detroit, New Jewish Theatre in St. Louis, Sarasota Jewish Theatre, and Arizona Jewish Theatre Company,  His Jewish-themed full-length plays include:

OY! is a comedic revue featuring a dozen sketches about all things Jewish and all things human.  The New York Times wrote, “Good laughs. Highly entertaining. From some of these sketches you could kvell.” Jewish Week wrote, “OY! is a cry of delight. Pure comedy.”  The comedy has had over 50 productions around the country, plus one in Bulgaria!  (3+ m, 2+ w.)

SHEDDING LIGHT is a two character play about a 70-minute interaction in a Manhattan high-rise between a 50-year-old African-American cable repairman and a high-strung Jewish woman of the same age, as they both confront crises of faith and connection. 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.” (1 m, 1 w)

MEN OVERBOARD focuses on a New York Bar Mitzvah which brings together three Jewish brothers who have taken different life paths (becoming a politician, a therapist, and a Buddhist monk), plus their fading but forceful father, the politician’s 13-year-old son (who doubts he’s ready to become a man), and the boy’s Bar Mitzvah tutor (a woman who loves the boy and possibly one of his uncles).  Winner of the Long Beach Playhouse New Play Contest and a finalist for the Woodward-Newman New Play Award, MEN OVERBOARD asks, “What responsibilities do we have to protect the souls of those we love?”. (5 m., 1 w.)

JENNIFER’S BIRTH is a heart-wrenching comedy that asks, “If you could observe your parents at the time of your birth, what would you discover?”  57-year-old Jewish woman from 2010 who goes back to the time of her birth and who witnesses events – some comedic, some disturbing – that shake up her views about her parents and about herself.  JENNIFER’S BIRTH is a play about the near-impossibility of seeing your parents as people… and the challenge of forgiveness.  (4 w., 2 m.)

Rich’s one-act comedies include THE WHOLE SHEBANG, which envisions God as a student in another realm, whose masters’ thesis is the creation of the heavens and the earth.  Unfortunately, the two human beings that are part of his presentation don’t quite live up to his divine description.  The play has had over 300 productions around the world.  Variety wrote, “Orloff’s charming and whimsical comedy delivers impish fun, along with a thoughtful and provocative message..” (1 m., 1 w., 3 either).

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


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