Spring 2018

Past Events

June 15, 2018


Flexible Performance Space
Lenfest Center for the Arts
615 W. 129 St.
New York, NY 10027


By N. Riantiarno (Indonesia)

Translated from Indonesian by Barbara Hatley

Directed by Ed Sylvanus Iskandar

Dramaturg: Cobina Gillitt

Consultant: Jason Williamson

Music Director: Enrico de Trizio

Stage Manager: Daniel Vaughn

Associate Stage Manager: Tzipora Reman

Featuring: Jorja Brown, Debbie Christine*, Karl Josef Co*, Kim Fischer*, Sevan Greene*, Megan Masako Haley, Katie Lee Hill*, Frank Licari, Paolo Montalban*, Aaron L. Morishita*, and Kate Rigg*

*Appeared courtesy of Actor's Equity Association


This is a story about those who are marginalized. A story of those living under bridges and in foul sewers, who can only stare up at the moon and speculate on their fortunes, daydreaming about the luxurious lives stowed away behind bright shop windows. When the state comes to raze their small riverside town in order to develop the land, these villagers—forgotten, abused, oppressed—find their bodies and spirits in danger of being buried underneath the demolished rubble.  


Born in Cirebon, Indonesia, in 1949, N. Riantiarno founded Teater Koma in Jakarta in 1977. His over-140 stage and television productions include The Cockroach Opera Trilogy; Sorry.Sorry.Sorry; Succession; Sampek Engtay; The Primadonna Opera; Burisrawa The Corporate Mogul; Semar Protests; Constipated Opera; The Republic of Bagong; The Republic of Togog; The Republic of Petruk; Metaphore of Love; and the Siejinkwie tetralogy. He is the author of the novels Evening Romance; Red Mirror; Clear Mirror; Love Mirror; and Primadonna.


Time Bomb

List of Characters


Jumini, woman who has lost her husband and child

Roima, good-looking young gangster

Julini, transvestite, Roima’s girlfriend

Kumis, security guard

Bleki, security guard

Abung, mad philosopher who lives in a tree

Tarsih, pretty and popular prostitute

Kasijah, prostitute

Turkana, Jumini’s companion and admirer

Tibal, young villager newly arrived in the city

Tuminah, Tibal’s sister

Sawil and Bilun, pair of dreamers & schemers

Subdistrict Head, government bureaucrat

Secretary, subdistrict head’s secretary


Prostitute 1

Prostitute 2

Other Prostitutes





Setting: A fetid slum under a bridge along a Jakarta canal. On a higher level and visible throughout the play, five diners of apparent wealth are seated at a table at a fine restaurant. Statue-like, they eat their sumptuous meals without speaking.    


Organized by Dean Carol Becker and David Henry Hwang, the Inaugural Columbia University School of the Arts International Play Reading Festival will present readings of three plays by living international playwrights that were not originally written in English:  


Time Bomb, N. Riantiarno (Indonesia)

Shaitan Lake, Rinat Tashminov (Russia)

Where Can I Find Someone Like You, Ali?, Raeda Taha (Palestine)


The goal of the festival is to expand contemporary American understanding of theatre beyond that of English-speaking countries, and to present new theatrical voices to US audiences.


Return to full festival schedule

N. Riantiarno