Cover art by Roz Francis

Now Then Again

Penny Penniston
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A time-bending love story between two physicists. Described by The Chicago Sun-Times as “a deft little romantic screwball comedy with a very brainy twist. It brings to mind some of Tom Stoppard's more intellectual theatrical hijinks. But it's also the kind of work that might have beguiled such 1930s and '40s era film directors as Frank Capra and Preston Sturges, who probably would have hired Albert Einstein as a script consultant.”

Production Info

Cast: 5 total (1 female, 4 male)
Full Length Drama (about 110 minutes)
Single Set
Contemporary Costumes
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Press Quotes

“Few new plays require a basic understanding of quantum mechanics — the physics theories of matter and energy — for full appreciation. And when young playwrights are thinking of settings for their plays, they don’t normally alight on such less-than-sexy locations as the Fermilab National Particle Accelerator Laboratory in west suburban Batavia. But if originality and intelligence are the most important qualities in attracting audiences to hear new work, Chicago scribe Penny Penniston deserves enormous success with her smart, funny and thoroughly captivating NOW THEN AGAIN … Penniston has tried to use some of the issues found in and around quantum mechanics (which involves great complexities of chronology and relativity) and apply them to a triangular love relationship … To describe how all this plays out would ruin the considerable pleasures of the show. Suffice to note that present and past prove to be relative concepts. Penniston’s ideas are emotionally warm and intellectually stimulating.” —Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“One thing I particularly like is the spate of unusual new characters that science brings to the stage … In PROOF and NOW THEN AGAIN, the main characters, all in their twenties, find the pursuit of difficult knowledge no less enlivening and nervous-making than things like their careers, their families, their social graces, their hormones and their heartaches. I can’t recall seeing similar types on the stage before … illuminating an obviously extant kind of life experience I’d never before considered but was delighted to discover.” —Bruce Weber, The New York Times

“The great thing about all this is that Penniston makes the physics so utterly transparent that you can ride on the love story and even feel like a minor genius, too. She makes physics fun …” —Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times

About the Author


  • Penny Penniston

    Penny Penniston is the author of the stage plays KEYS OF THE KINGDOM; SPIN; 7 YEARS AT THE MAYFAIR MALL; MISS JULIE (adapted from Strindberg); NOW THEN AGAIN; and THE ROARING GIRL (adapted from Middleton/Dekker, co-authored with Jeremy Wechsler). Her work has been produced, commissioned, or workshopped with Theater Wit; Portland Center Stage; Milwaukee Repertory; Old Globe Theatre; Bailiwick Repertory; Shakespeare’s Motley Crew; Gorilla Rep; Blank Theatre; Depot Theatre; Collaboraction Theatre; Stage Left Theatre; and Penfold Theatre. She is the recipient of multiple Joseph Jefferson Citations for “Best New Work” and the Sloan Prize in Screenwriting at the 2005 Tribeca Film Festival. She is the screenwriter and producer for the short film ONE IN A MILLION, starring Carrie Coon. She is the author of TALK THE TALK: A DIALOGUE WORKSHOP FOR SCRIPTWRITERS, published by MWP Books. For more info, visit her website at

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 6/30/2014
Pages 84
ISBN 9780881456028

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

First produced at Bailiwick Repertory, Chicago

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Now Then Again is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


9/10/2023 – 9/10/2023
Black Hills Community Theatre
Rapid City, SD

4/22/2022 – 4/30/2022
Caroline Community Theatre
Ruther Glen, VA

1/26/2018 – 1/27/2018
Campus Life Power And Wig
Waterville, ME

7/7/2017 – 7/8/2017
Historic Homestake Opera House
Lead, SD