Evolution, destiny, sexuality, randomness, hope, love and online dating all add to the "organized chaos" of Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's "Boom," opening at Salt Lake Acting Company.
The play, Nacthrieb's seventh full-length endeavor, was last year's most-produced play, according to Theatre Communications Group. "That was out of plays NOT 'Christmas Carol' or Shakespeare, so I had a really great run," Nachtreib said in a phone interview.
"It's very nice it struck a chord with people, and since it's only three characters, that makes it easier."
"Boom," is dubbed by SLAC as a "quirky, not-so-romantic comedy."
"It's about a Craig's List casual encounter date with a marine biologist who has suspicions something is about to happen," Nachtreib said. "He brings a journalism student into a suspiciously well-stocked lab; about a half-hour before a comet hits the ground."
Without giving too much away, the two get trapped in the lab.
"It deals with the effects of randomness in our lives and how much control we have over our destinies," he said. "And it's also a play about biology and evolution."
"There is an evolutionary theory that maybe changes in species don't happen over a steady pace, but rather with sudden rapid radical bursts of change," Nachtreib explained. "Like a comet hitting the planet. I was wondering how that applies on a personal level. That we have these moments in our own lives that might cause rapid change.
"I think that's a fun part of the story," he said. "That natural selection isn't always survival of the fittest, it's also who is the luckiest — right place and the right time."
Nachtreib was a double major in college, "theater and biology," he said. "This was a way to reconcile the two interest. And I always wanted to write a play."
Much of Nachtrieb's own experiences find their way into the piece, "I took a year off in college and I worked for research scientist watching fish spawn. That kind of history has really inhabited the biologist character."
"And, there are live fish in the play, four of them!"
Sensitivity warning: The script features strong language and slurs based on sexuality.
If you go...
Where: Salt Lake Acting Company, 168 W. 500 North
When: Nov. 3-Dec. 5, times vary
How much: $18-$41