by Lyle Kessler
Full Length Play, Dramatic Comedy / 3m
Updated Broadway Version!
Two brothers, Phillip, sensitive, reclusive, never venturing out of his North Philly home and Treat, a violent pickpocket and thief who kidnaps a mysteriously wealthy businessman who turn the table on the two brothers and in strange, hilarious and moving way, becomes their long lost father figure.
- Nominee! 2013 Outer Critics Circle Award, Outstanding Revival of a Play
"A weird, wonderful thriller filled with suspense, pathos and packing an emotional wallop." - WMCA Radio, 1985
"Keeps you transfixed." - New York Daily News, 1985
"Bracing energy, dark humor, and tender spirit...Briskly entertaining, deeply affecting" - USA Today, 2013
"An exceptionally effective vehicle for three strong actors." - Wallstreet Journal, 2013
"A testosterone-laden darkly humorous piece" - Associated Press, 2013
"Electrifying...Scorching...Making the descent from black comedy into tragedy in a bracing theatrical thrill ride...Wickedly funny one minute and powerfully emotional the next." - Hollywood Reporter, 2013
"Kessler's three-man drama remains a vibrant exploration of masculinity and the challenge of forming an maintaining family connections." - Entertainment Weekly, 2013
"Orphans is a giddy delight - an acting treat, a fast-talking adrenaline jolt and lots of fun. Serious fun, OK, but definitely fun." - Newsday, 2103
"Orphans has enduring appeal, its powerful theme of fathers and sons searching each other out. Alec Baldwin mines the vein of tenderness that lies deep in the play." - Variety
"Orphans is wickedly funny one minute and powerfully emotional the next. Kessler uses humor as a subversive force, making the shift into despair a visceral gut punch." - The Hollywood Reporter
"Orphans will keep you laughing and crying. By far the best play I've seen this season." - WOR Radio
- Strong Language
- Mild Adult Themes
- Minimum Fee: $125 per performance
- Optional Music/Media Fee: $15 per performance
- Time Period: Present Day
- Duration: 105 Minutes
- Setting: The action takes place in an old row house in North Philadelphia in the not too distant past.
- Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
- Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
- Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
- Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)
TREAT - A Pick Pocket and Thief; violent, suppressed emotions.
HAROLD - A Commanding Presence, able to handle any situation. Loving under a tough exterior.
- All Male
Music Material Rental Packages
16 performance tracks available.
Contact your licensing representative for more information.
Orphans was first presented at the Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles on August 31, 1983. It was directed by John Lehne. The play was subsequently presented at the Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago on February 3, 1985. It was directed by Gary Sinese and also played the Westside Arts Theatre Off Broadway and the Apollo theatre on London's West End.
Orphans made its Broadway premiere at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on April 18, 2013. It was directed by Daniel Sullivan.