Taran Haynes performs a monologue from the play at the 2014 Last Frontier Theatre Conference.

Members of the New Play Exchange can download the play for free.

A Very Modern Marriage

1w, 2m
Full length


MATHEW passionate and overly dramatic. Genuinely in love with Tina, genuinely attracted to Christopher - although Matthew doesn't admit this even to himself.

TINA keeps a good heart well hidden. She, more than the other two, struggles in a trap she has chosen for herself.

CHRISTOPHER wears a flamboyant persona like a cape - that sometimes slips to reveal his true self. He's no stereotype - but he plays the role of one when it suits him.


A Manhattan Apartment.


Matthew and Tina's marriage is already on the rocks... when Tina's friend Christopher moves in with a secret agenda to get Tina out of the picture and steal Matt's heart once and for all.

About A Very Modern Marriage

A full length comedy for 1w, 2m

A Very Modern Marriage, Los Angeles Fringe Festival, 2015
The premiere of A Very Modern Marriage at The Hollywood Fringe Festival, 2015.
(L to R)Deborah Jensen, Esteban Andres Cruz and Donal Thoms-Cappello.

In A Very Modern Marriage, we meet Matthew and Tina on the night of their wedding anniversary, which Tina forgot and Matthew didn't mention so that he could bring it up at the perfect passive-aggressive moment.
Into this messy argument of a marriage comes Tina's friend Christopher - who has left his boyfriend and needs a place to stay. His arrival shakes up their marriage, and revives Tina's failing business, but his secret plan is to banish Tina from Matthew's life and slide neatly into her place.
Torn by both love and resentment for Tina, and his suppressed but growing interest for Chris, Matthew struggles in a rapidly escalating battle that comes to a head when Tina walks in on their first kiss, and tries to shoot Chris but misses and gets Matthew instead. From there... things only get worse.
Ultimately, love conquers all and everyone lives happily ever after... just not in the way anyone expected!

A Very Modern Marriage at the Los Angeles Fringe Festival

Why this play?

I was challenged by an ex to write about our tumultous, on-again off-again relationship. I don't think I managed it - but in the course of trying, I found these three people, Chris, Matt and Tina, who manage to drive each other crazy in the best way. I also wrote this play because of a love for "The Odd Couple"... although my love is tempered by an awareness of how dated a lot of Neil Simon's masterpiece is by today's standards. Still, the ability for people who love each other to push each other to madness - even to the edge of murder - is perennial!

The play was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neil Theatre Center Playwright's Conference, a selection for the Last Frontier Theatre Conference, a top ten finalist for the Actor's Theatre of Charlotte's nuVoices for a nuGeneration New Play Festival, and was workshopped in IATI's Play Development Program in New York, with a public reading in April of 2014. It received an honorable mention in the Ohio State New Play Contest, and was an evening performance at The Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference in Alaska in 2017.

A Very Modern Marriage at the LFTC

The play premiered in June of 2015 at the Los Angeles Fringe festival, directed by Scott Marden and produced by Will Play for Food Theatre Company. The Australian premiere was at the Owl and Cat Theatre in Melbourne, July 26th, 2016, directed by Gabrielle Savrone. This production subsequently traveled to Alaska as an evening performance at the Valdez Last Frontier Theatre Conference, directed by Sarah Vickery.

The most recent production - via Zoom during the pandemic - was produced and streamed by The Magnetic Theatre in Asheville, NC.

A Very Modern Marriage at The Magnetic Theatre

Sample Dialogue...

A Very Modern marriage


Blurb Magazine called it: "a delicious, highly appealing combination of shocks and surprises and pithy dialogue."
review by Alex First.

Martin Jago in Feasting at the Hollywood Fringe Festival posts: "Marden and his actors navigate more the twists and turns than Magic Mountain's Twisted Colossus in Arthur M. Jolly's contemporary farce. The production is a wickedly funny ménage à trois that doesn't pause for breath."
review by Martin Jago.

What Did She Think? posts "A fun ride, and there are moments in the show which are so perfectly crafted they will stick with me for a long time. I laughed, I gasped, and I chuckled my way through A Very Modern Marriage."
★ ★ ★ ★
review by Samsara.

The Plus Ones wrote: "You can never quite relax into the predictability of your usual matinee romantic comedy, as this one throws you constantly around from dark to silly to absurd to farcical. In the end ‘A Very Modern Marriage’ succeeds by melding all these disparate elements into a homogeneous and satisfying 90 minutes of entertainment. Like the modern marriage it portrays, this seemingly conventional piece of theatre resists labels, and packs as much fun as it does food for thought."
review by Christian G.


Reviews from the Hollywood Fringe Festival

"Don't let all the hysterically funny banter at the top lull you into thinking this is just some cutie comedy. It delivers on all fronts."

 "Lots of laughs in this play and not a cheap one in the bunch."



"Starting off at a sitcom pace with punch line after punch line until it takes a darker (yet still comedic!) twist, A Very Modern Marriage is a whirlwind 75 minutes of side splitting laughter."

"A Very Modern Marriage is messy from start to finish and will keep you in stitches to the end."



"... this play is impossible not to enjoy." 

"The most relevant show I've seen in a long time. And well done. I sat on the edge of my seat the entire time laughing and so enraptured in the story that I spilled wine all over my white skirt. That's right. That's what this show does to you."

In Stage Scene LA, Steven Stanley wrote: "In the days back when each new issue of The Ladies’ Home Journal asked the question 'Can this marriage be saved?', it’s doubtful the editors ever suggested that the husband take a male lover, but this is the solution Arthur M. Jolly may well be proposing in his fast-moving, sexy, and very funny World Premiere comedy A Very Modern Marriage."
review by Steven Stanley.

Gia on the Move said: "A Very Modern Marriage gets messy very quickly between the rapid fire dialog, high altitude melodramatics and on stage with the set overall (Christopher just hates picking up his clothes!) But nothing gets lost in this very colloquial 90 minutes script which will truly keep you in stitches right down to the not-so-inconceivable, totally selfish ending.
Recommended "
review by Tracey Paleo

Hollywood Fringe Festival     Very Modern Marriage
Very Modern Marriage     Very Modern Marriage     Very Modern Marriage     Very Modern Marriage

To inquire about producing this play, please contact me, and if you'd like to get a feel for it - try reading the monologue available here.