Playing the Timpani


A grad student's online personal ad lures a mysterious journalism student to his subterranean research lab under the pretense of an evening of "no strings attached" sex. But when a major global catastrophic event strikes the planet, their date takes on evolutionary significance and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance. Will they survive? What about the fish in the tank? And who is that woman pulling levers and playing the timpani? An epic and intimate comedy that spans over billions of years, boom explores the influences of fate versus randomness in the course of one's life, and life as we know it on the planet.

The story

The Author

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, 6'6", is a San Francisco-based playwright who often writes about misfits, biology, apocalypse, and people struggling against large systems. His works include the plays boom (TCG's most produced play 2009-10), BOB: A Life in 5 ActsThe TotalitariansHunter GatherersThe Making of a Great MomentA House Tour of the Infamous Porter Family Mansion with Tour Guide Weston Ludlow LondonderryT.I.C. (Trenchcoat In Common)ColoradoLitter: The True Story of the Framingham Dodecutuplets, and the musical Fall Springs with composer/co-lyricist Niko Tsakalakos. His work has been seen off-Broadway and across the world including at Ars Nova, Woolly Mammoth, Seattle Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Southern Rep, Barrington Stage Company, Kitchen Dog, Merrimack Repertory and in the Bay Area at Z Space, A.C.T., Encore Theatre, Killing My Lobster, Marin Theatre Company, Impact Theatre, and The Bay Area Playwrights Festival. His plays have received numerous awards including the Will Glickman Prize, The Stavis Award, The ATCA/Steinberg New Play Award, among others.

Peter is an alumna of New Dramatists and was the Mellon/HowlRound Playwright in Residence at Z Space in San Francisco 2013-18. He holds a degree in Theater and Biology from Brown and an MFA in Creative Writing from San Francisco State University.