Peter Sinn Nachtrieb at Z Space

Playwright

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, 6’6”, is a San Francisco-based playwright who often writes about misifts, 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 Totalitarians, Hunter 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),  Colorado, Litter: The True Story of the Framingham Dodecutuplets, and the musical Fall Springs with composer/co-lyricist Niko TsakalakosHis 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 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. He likes to promote himself online at www.peternachtrieb.com.

Theatre

Z Space is a hub for artists and audiences to revel in the creation, development, and production of outstanding new work. We commission, develop, present and produce a full season of new works from a variety of disciplines including theater, dance, music, performance art, and new media. We foster opportunities around the nation for these works and we engage diverse audiences through direct interactions with the process, the projects, and the artists. 

Residency Activity

Peter’s relationship with Z Space and its artistic director, Lisa Steindler, had extended almost ten years before his Mellon residency began. It was also extraordinarily convenient, with the theater being a twenty minute walk from his apartment.  Throughout the residency, he would work onsite two to four days a week. 

Over the six years, Peter spent much of his time developing five major projects (four plays and a musical). Z Space produced and presented three of them and all have continued their lives beyond their Z Space productions. Peter felt the residency allowed him to stretch himself as an artist as well as try new forms and creative processes (including the writing of pieces for specific performers, writing an immersive/mobile audience play, and developing his first musical). He was often the artistic director of his own creative process, determining what developmental steps were needed along the way (and using funds from the grant to finance them).  

Peter also ingrained himself into the life of Z Space, contributing in numerous ad hoc capacities including attending the weekly staff meetings, writing and contributing to numerous marketing and development initiatives, reading scripts, hosting a weekly writers group, organizing and hosting community salons and events, sharing knowledge and experience from the field, and serving as an ambassador for the theatre at large. 

As of this writing, Peter continues to keep his desk at Z Space and facilitates a weekly writers group.  He’s also joined the Board of Directors.

Press

More from the Residency

two performers hiding under a table
I'm Tired of All This Drama!
Video

I'm Tired of All This Drama!

A Gathering to Discuss Contemporary Comedy in the American Theatre

Wednesday 17 October - Thursday 18 October 2018
Emerson College, Boston, USA

A gathering bringing playwrights from around the US to talk about craft and the state of comedy in our field today.

two people posing together
Finding Creative Freedom Through Commitment
Essay

Finding Creative Freedom Through Commitment

Reflections on a Six-Year Residency

8 August 2019

Playwright Peter Nachtrieb and artistic director of San Francisco’s Z Space, Lisa Steindler, talk about the National Playwright Residency Program, getting out of your comfort zone, making a living as a writer, and more.

two actors in costume
Laughing Matters
Essay

Laughing Matters

How Comedy Tells Us Who We Are

14 February 2019

Professor Matthew McMahan talks about the importance of understanding comedy’s theatrical history: how it has evolved, what it says about a society, and why the genre shouldn’t be forgotten in the American theatre.

We Had a Convening About Comedy in Theatre and People Couldn’t Stop Farting
Essay

We Had a Convening About Comedy in Theatre and People Couldn’t Stop Farting

27 November 2018

Playwright Peter Nachtrieb gives his reflections on the Comedy Convening co-hosted by HowlRound in Boston, MA on 17 and 18 October 2018. 

Who Are These People? How the Staff of Z Space Sees Their Lives, Jobs, and Home
Essay

Who Are These People? How the Staff of Z Space Sees Their Lives, Jobs, and Home

6 October 2017

Meet the staff of one Bay Area theatre company and see how their lives, jobs, and homes interact and affect the artistic ecology of the Bay Area.

Longtime Drifters
Essay

Longtime Drifters

How the San Francisco Bay Area Affects the Playwrights who Live There

13 December 2016

Peter Nachtrieb talks to nine other Bay Area-based playwrights about their connection to where they live.

The Benefits of Not Being a Guest
Essay

The Benefits of Not Being a Guest

How being a Playwright In Residence affected the World Premiere of My Latest Play (I think.)

22 June 2016

Playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb reflects on the production process of his play A House Tour of the Infamous Porter Family Mansion with Tour Guide Weston Ludlow Londonderry.

Fall Springs
Essay

Fall Springs

A Musical Disaster

16 March 2016

Listen to a demo of Playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's new musical.

Why Peter Nachtrieb, Why ZSpace?
Essay

Why Peter Nachtrieb, Why ZSpace?

15 March 2016

Artistic Director Lisa Steindler and Peter Nachtrieb discuss what drew them to this artistic collaboration and why Z Space is the perfect fit for them.

Playwrights, Rewrites, Multiple Productions
Essay

Playwrights, Rewrites, Multiple Productions

Peter Sinn Nachtrieb

27 June 2015

Laura Brueckner interviews Peter Sinn Nachtrieb about the development of The Totalitarians.