THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR

After ten years of marriage, Sadie and Vance are experiencing the all too familiar trials that arise when lovers become parents, job and home responsibilities become never-ending, and alone time becomes scarce. To Sadie’s further frustration, reticent Vance refuses to acknowledge—or discuss—any of them. Next door, demographic equals Janet and Rich have fared much better; their happy marriage is full of...
After ten years of marriage, Sadie and Vance are experiencing the all too familiar trials that arise when lovers become parents, job and home responsibilities become never-ending, and alone time becomes scarce. To Sadie’s further frustration, reticent Vance refuses to acknowledge—or discuss—any of them. Next door, demographic equals Janet and Rich have fared much better; their happy marriage is full of passion, love, empathy—and multiple sex partners.

When the ever-ready Rich overhears Vance and “hot burrito” Sadie having wild sex, he’s intrigued, and determines to invite the couple over to test the waters. Janet is also curious, but hesitant: They live so close, what if it goes bad, and why is Rich so insistent? Through a comedic series of events, Sadie and Vance arrive at the Lewis house one Fun Friday, hoping that—as they’ve read on-line—a “just sex” evening of swinging will open up communication and elevate them to a new level of closeness.

All appears to go well… until the morning after. At the Nelson house, Janet senses the encounter with their new playmates was a little off, while Rich—dazedly fondling Sadie’s left-behind underwear—feels something is definitely on. At the Lewis’, the experiment has seemingly proved a bust: The couple is barely talking, and it’s clear that Sadie is more pissed at her husband than ever.

In the ensuing days, Janet’s suspicions grow, and Rich visits Sadie to confess that she made him feel something he never has before. While Sadie insists it was “just sex,” Vance gets a cryptic visit from Janet that makes him realize his marriage is on the line. That night, Vance and Sadie bond after he digs deep to reveal his feelings about what happened last Friday, and the two take tentative steps toward reconciliation, which include a new start. Crushed, Rich nonetheless recognizes the need to recommit to his family, albeit with the unsettling knowledge that there might be more to love—and sex—than he’s ever known.

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THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR

Recommended by

  • Timothy Gadomski:
    1 Mar. 2020
    This story was such a joy to follow. Kept me enthralled throughout. Very funny and sensual without being flooded with sex. It kept focus on the relationships; thats what matters. Would love to see this live; it lends itself well to a beautiful side-by-side set.
  • Ross Tedford Kendall:
    26 Dec. 2019
    This play is very fair to all of the characters. It compares and contrasts different attitudes towards marriage and sex, without condemning any of them. And yet they all come away a little changed, as any good story should achieve. This is in addition to the expert craft the playwright shows in keeping the audience invested every step of the way, from the staging, to the dialogue, to the transitions. A very compelling play.
  • Ben Rosenblatt:
    16 Apr. 2018
    This sexy, funny, thrilling play insightfully probes human behavior surrounding monogamy and relationships. The dialogue is crisp, filled with wit and appropriately awkward. An actor's dream. Four very well-developed, messy, complex characters. Demonstrates that any relationship of true worth is hard, no matter the sexual approach, and doesn't let us off the hook with any easy answers. Really enjoyed it!

Character Information

  • Vance Lewis
    37,
    Any
    ,
    Any
    zookeeper
  • Sadie Lewis
    36,
    Any
    ,
    Female
    hotel marketing manager
  • Rich Nelson
    30s-40s,
    Any
    ,
    Male
    Businessman
  • Janet Nelson
    30s,
    Any
    ,
    Female
    human resources worker

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Dionysia New Play Competition
    ,
    2016
  • Reading
    ,
    Stripped Scripts
    ,
    2016
  • Reading
    ,
    Hive Theater Collective, New York
    ,
    2012
  • Reading
    ,
    Raconteur Theatre Company
    ,
    2011
  • Reading
    ,
    Road Less Traveled Productions
    ,
    2010

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Teatrulde Arta Bucuresti, Bucharest, Romania, translated production beginning 2012 in rep
    ,
    2020
  • Professional
    ,
    Funky Little Theater Company
    ,
    2017
  • Professional
    ,
    Dangerous Theatre
    ,
    2015
  • Professional
    ,
    Road Less Traveled Productions
    ,
    2010

Awards

Semi-Finalist
,
Princess Grace
,
New Dramatists
,
2015
Finalist
,
Emanuel Fried Award for Outstanding New Play
,
Artie Awards
,
2011