Title: Ted Kaczynski Killed People With Bombs (Preview)
Subtitle: A Play With Seven Songs, One Reprise and Three Epiphanies
Author: Michelle Carter
Topic: Plays
Date: 2006
Source: Google Books
Notes: Full book links: Worldcat + AbeBooks. Also, here is a snapshot of the magic theatre event.

[Front Matter]

[Title Page]

Ted Kaczynski Killed People
With Bombs

A Play With Seven Songs, One Reprise
and Three Epiphanies



Dramatic Publishing

Woodstock, Illinois • England • Australia • New Zealand

*** NOTICE ***

The amateur and stock acting rights to this work are controlled exclusively by THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY without whose permission in writing no performance of it may be given. Royalty must be paid every time a play is performed whether or not it is presented for profit and whether or not admission is charged. A play is performed any time it is acted before an audience. Current royalty rates, applications and restrictions may be found at our Web site: www.dramaticpublishing.com, or we may be contacted by mail at: DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY, P.O. Box 129, Woodstock IL 60098.

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For performance of any songs, music and recordings mentioned in this play which are in copyright, the permission of the copyright owners must be obtained or other songs and recordings in the public domain substituted.

©MMVI by
Printed in the United States of America
All Rights Reserved

A Play with Seven Songs, One Reprise
and Three Epiphanies)

For inquiries concerning all other rights, contact:
Bret Adams, Ltd., 448 W. 44th St., New York NY 10036
Telephone: (212) 765-5630


All producers of the play must give credit to the author of the play in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the play and in all instances in which the title of the play appears for purposes of advertising, publicizing or otherwise exploiting the play and/or a production. The name of the author must also appear on a separate line, on which no other name appears, immediately following the title, and must appear in size of type not less than fifty percent the size of the title type. Biographical information on the author, if included in the playbook, may be used in all programs. In all programs this notice must appear:

Produced by special arrangement with


[Past showings]

[Magic Theatre performance (2002)]

Ted Kaczynski Killed People With Bombs was commissioned by the Magic Theatre and Z-Space and premiered at the Magic Theatre—in a very different form—in 2002 (Larry Eilenberg, artistic director).


K Merle Kessler
Wild Nature Celia Schuman
Mrs. K and others Anne Darragh
David K and others Mark Rafael Truitt
David Gelemter and others David Cramer
Sixth Actor Robert Parsons


Casting Director Jessica Heidt
Sound Designer Maribeth Back
Lighting Designer Jim Cave
Costume Designer Kira Kristensen


Composer Michelle Carter

[Summer Play Festival performance (July 2005)]

The play was also produced at the Summer Play Festival in New York in July 2005 (Arielle Tepper, festival producer; Rachel Neuburger, artistic director; Kara Medoff and Marisa Sechrest, producers).


Ted Andrew Dolan
Wild Nature Jessica Boevers
Mrs. Kaczynski Kathleen Doyle
David Kaczynski et al Ian Kahn
David Gelemter et al Vin Knight
Linda Kaczynski et al Barbara Pitts


Director Jeremy Dobrish
Assistant Director Jillian Apfelbaum
Stage Manager Sid King
Set Designer Steven Capone
Lighting Designer Michael Gottlieb
Sound Designer Jill BC Du Boff
Costume Designer Heather Dunbar
Casting Director Mark Simon


Composers Gabriel Kahane, Michael Friedman
Musician and Foley Artist Gabriel Kahane

[Donmar Warehouse performance (Sept 2005)]

The play was also presented in the context of a residency at the Donmar Warehouse in London in September 2005 through the generous support of Jill Shaw Ruddock (Michael Grandage, artistic director).


Ted John Light
Wild Nature Catherine Tate
Mrs. Kaczynski Sian Thomas
David Kaczynski et al Geoffrey Streatfield
David Gelemter et al. Stanley Townsend
Linda Kaczynski et al Claudie Blakley


Director Angus Jackson
Residency Coordinator Sarah Nicholson
Stage Manager Sarah Waling
Assistant Director Chris Rolls
Casting Director AnneMcNulty


Composer George Hinchliffe
Ukulele George Hinchliffe

[Latest Sript]

For 3 men, 3 women


TED (m), 35-50

DAVID KACZYNSKI (m): 7 years younger than Ted
(also plays Jeff, Turk, Sixties Guy and Math Department Chair)

(also plays Clark, Childhood Friend, Researcher 1, Singer, Freud, Unabomber 1, Kid, Cowboy 2 and Enraged Spouse)

WILD NATURE (w): Age is less important than a sexy, charismatic presence.

MRS. KACZYNSKI (w): 55-70

(also plays Jimmy, Elderly Neighbor, Researcher 2, Student, Ellen, Katie Couric, Unabomber 2, Interviewer, Comedian, Mom, Cowboy 1 and Unfaithful Spouse)


Creative teams are welcome and encouraged to compose their own music for the songs. Information regarding music composed by Gabriel Kahane and Michael Friedman for the Summer Play Festival production can be obtained from the playwright’s agent, Bruce Ostler of the Bret Adams Agency in New York.

A musician and foley artist remains onstage throughout the play.


Approximately 90 minutes with no intermission.

Scene i

(The iconic image of the Unabomber appears. Sound: A typewriter typing, cued by an onstage musician and foley artist who cues sound throughout the play.

Text appears: The positive ideal is Nature. Wild Nature: those aspects of the functioning of the Earth and its living things that are free of human interference and control.

WILD NATURE sound rises—jungle noise, animal calls, etc. Text continues:

Wild Nature includes human nature, those aspects of the functioning of the human individual that are not subject to regulation by organized society but are products of chance. Or free will. Or God. Or whatever.

WILD NATURE appears.)

WILD NATURE. I'd just kill to get published. (Beat.) A little in-joke. It’ll make sense later.

(Text appears: She’s Wild Nature.)

(WILD NATURE pauses, taking in the WILD NATURE sounds. To the musician:)

WILD NATURE (cont’d). The National Geographic soundtrack? A little trite, perchance? (The musician cuts the sound.) Thank you. (Out to audience.) You have no idea what 1 go through. (WILD NATURE cues the musician.) (She sings:)

Of my image, I am well aware—
My reputation’s quite beyond repair:
Wild Nature, dame of famine, flood, and frigid winters,
Piss her off and with a cough
She’ll blow your house to splinters.
Global wanning, locusts swarming, rivers foul and silty—
Just say the word “environment” and everyone feels guilty.
It’s so Third World,
Old shoe,
But nature’s at your service in the U.S.A.!

(Costume evolves. Music up-tempo...)

WILD NATURE (cont’d).

I’m your cruise control,
Your GPS,
Your blues patrol,
To shield you from dejectedness.

The times are terrifying
Your nerves are wom and frayed;

Who says it’s edifying
To be worried and afraid?

Cruise control
The times are complicated
Blues control
Angst is just so dated

Once upon a simpler time,
Wild Nature reigned:
Tooth or claw, freeze or thaw,
She could not be contained.
Oceans swelled expertly,
Just because they could;
Oil welled inertly,
Doing no one any good.
Nature made a monkey out of man in days of old—
But the times have tamed and trained her:
Now she does just what she’s told.

Or Naked Chef?
Virgin sprawl,
Or a fuel gauge all the way to F?

Feeling fragile? timid? spooked?
Alarmed? In need of mending?
Overawed?—well that’s why god
Begat the happy ending

Yang is cruel,
Yin a mite depressing—
As a rule,
Spin is quite a blessing

This story’s dark
This story’s true
Let’s find a way to tell it so its spell won’t torment you

(End of song.)

WILD NATURE (cant’d). This is the story of a man who did horrible things and had many quaint, obsolete ideas.

(FOUR SCHOOLCHILDREN enter with school desks.)

WILD NATURE (cant’d). Let us begin where all improving tales begin: the children

(A recess bell rings.)

Scene ii

(WILD NATURE is a SCHOOLTEACHER JEFF. CLARK and JIMMY take their places for the math bee. After each correct answer is given, the winner will remain standing and the loser will sit.)

SCHOOLTEACHER. Settle, boys. Take your seats. Time for this morning’s math bee (They take their seats for the math bee.) Ready? (JEFF nods ) Jeff. (JEFF stands.) Jimmy. (JIMMY stands.) Twelve times four.

JEFF. Forty-eight. (JIMMY sits.)

SCHOOLTEACHER. Clark. (CLARK stands.) Nine times eight.

JEFF. Seventy-two. (CLARK sits.)

SCHOOLTEACHER. Jimmy. (JIMMY stands.) Fifty-six divided by seven.

CLARK (feeding JIMMY the answer). Eight.

JIMMY. Eight! I knew that!

SCHOOLTEACHER. Jeff. (JEFF stands. JIMMY sits.) Thirty-two plus twelve.

JEFF (instantly). Forty-four. (JIMMY sits.)

SCHOOLTEACHER. Clark. (CLARK stands.) Fifty-nine plus twenty-one.

CLARK. Eighty. (JEFF sits.)

SCHOOLTEACHER. Jimmy. (JIMMY stands.) Seventy- nine minus twelve.

CLARK. Sixty-seven. (JIMMY sits.)

SCHOOLTEACHER. Ted. (Beat.) Ted? (Beat.) Ted!

(TED appears.)

TED. There once was a woman named Ellen
Whose private parts kept on a-swellin’
Men far and wide
Had explored her inside
Till it could not be mapped by Magellan

(Brightly.) I wrote that! (He steps out of the shack and paces the room.)

SCHOOLTEACHER. Let f denote a continuous function defined on the open unit disk in the complex plane.

TED. Then the boundary function for f is obtained by taking the limits off at arc p. (CLARK sits, confused.)

SCHOOLTEACHER. Jeff. (JEFF stands, also baffled.)

TED. The curvilinear convergence of/is the largest set on which a boundary function can be defined.

SCHOOLTEACHER. Clark. (JEFF sits and CLARK stands.)

TED. The set of all points inside the bounded function include set H, axis X, point p, and arc v:

SCHOOLTEACHER. Jimmy. (CLARK sits and JIMMY stands.)

TED. —indignity, loneliness, powerlessness, and rage. Thus:

SCHOOLTEACHER. Children! (All stand.)

TED. The industrial revolution and its consequences have been a disaster for the human race. (An explosion. The students dive under their chairs. Silence. Gently.) It’s okay. Come on out now. (Warily, they take their seats.)

SCHOOLTEACHER. Date. (The students continue going through the motions of the math bee.)

TED. May 26, 1978.


TED. Smokeless powder pipe bomb, brown paper, ten one-dollar Eugene O’Neill stamps.


TED. Lazy fat ignoramuses rejecting my paper.


TED. Terry Marker, security guard. (Indicating the shack upstage.) Get to work!

(The musician plays an amiable, engaging, toe-tapping number. Two students rush to the playhouse shack. As TED continues, they pull bombs from the shack and set them one by one about the stage. The pace of the following accelerates as it moves, becomes frenetic.)


TED. May 9, 1979.


TED. Booby-trap bomb, Phillies-brand cigar box.


TED. Lazy fat ignoramuses rejecting my paper.


TED. John Harris. Student. Civil engineering.


TED. November 15, 1979.


TED. Smokeless powder mail bomb, “America’s Light Fueled By Truth and Reason” one-dollar stamps.


TED. Fuel-guzzling smoke-spewing noise-belching skyraping—


TED. Fourteen passengers. Smoke inhalation. Small potatoes.


TED. June 10, 1980.


TED. Booby-trapped book: Ice Brothers by Sloan Wilson.


TED. Fuel-guzzling smoke-spewing noise-belching skyraping—


TED. United Airlines president Percy Wood. Wood. Get it?


TED. October 8, 1981.


TED. Smokeless powder pipe in gasoline can.


TED. Bloodless arrogant ivory-tower—


TED. Janitor. Unhurt. No one even injured.


TED. May 5, 1982.


TED. Pipe bomb, three forwarding addresses.


TED. Bloodless arrogant ivory-tower—


TED. Secretary. Lacerations from shrapnel. Can’t seem to make a lethal bomb.


TED. July 2, 1982.


TED. Note enclosed: “Mackenzie—it works! I told you it would.” Get it?


TED. Arrogant, smug, self-important—


TED. Mangled hands, face, and so on. Gasoline failed to ignite and kill.


TED. Next.


TED. Next.


TED. Next.


TED. Next! December 11, 1985.


TED. Eight long years of painstaking work.


TED. Lethal at last!


TED. Hugh Scrutton. Computer store owner. Quick, clean, painless, and humane.

SCHOOLTEACHER (aside), rd just kill to get published. Get it?

TED. February 20, 1987.

SCHOOLTEACHER. The victim’s mother watching from the window.

TED. June 22, 1993.

SCHOOLTEACHER. Professor at a medical school.

TED. June 24, 1993.

SCHOOLTEACHER. A musician who loved Palestrina’s Missa Brevis.

TED. December 10, 1994.

SCHOOLTEACHER. The children asleep in the next room.

TED. April 24, 1995. The peak, the summit.

SCHOOLTEACHER. The beginning of the end.

TED. We have a long article that must be published in the New York Times, Time, or Newsweek.

SCHOOLTEACHER. Penthouse says they’ll publish you!

TED (firmly). The New York Times, Time, or Newsweek.

SCHOOLTEACHER. The demand was met.

TED. The Industrial Society and its Future is published by the New York Times and the Washington Post. My manifesto.

SCHOOLTEACHER, It was a trick. The FBI wanted to see if someone would recognize your writing. Someone did. (Music off.) That’s it. It’s over. So. Why?

(Word appears: Why?)

TED. Why, children? (TED begins to exit, whistling a melodic line we ’re to hear him whistle throughout the play. He turns back to them.) The clothes on my back, a bedroll, and a sky full of stars.

(He disappears into the shack. WILD NATURE cues the musician, sings:)


There are worms that never have to eat—
They grow as long as thirty-seven feet.
There’s a fish that changes sex at will:
We can’t explain that nifty skill
A freak of nature’s never what he seems—
He’ll spook the cats and clutter up your dreams
So as you’re tickled, teased, and entertained,
Relax!, each foul and fearsome act will henceforth be (a grand arpeggio...)

(Music shifts. The musician gives the schoolchildren instruments.)

WILD NATURE (cant’d).

Was it Mama's nagging when he didn’t clean his room?
Was it Papa’s bragging from the day he left the womb?
Was it leftist teachers and their liberal arcana?
Or the quadrupedded creatures that he tortured in Montana?

Could’ve been that sophomore girl for whom he skinned a cat
Or the comely truck-stop waitress who politely told him “Scat”
Or the sounds of sex through dorm room walls that made him call police
Or that plans of mutilation gave him sexual release


Mystifying crimes
Complicated times

Was it nerds with laptops and their droll enthusiasms?
Or scientists in labcoats doing tricks with genoplasms?
Or jumbo jets and aeroplanes creating noise pollution?
Or was it that he hoped to instigate a revolution?


Mystifying crimes
Complicated times

[Page 84]

WILD NATURE (cont’d).
Trust the questions you have answers to
Read the books that tell you what is true
Wrong is wrong and right is really right!
Dark is dark and light is really bright!
Stay away from people who are bad
Sing a song that’s happy when you’re sad
Think up thoughts you like and tell your friends!
(Big Broadway lights and effects...)
Love the children!
They’re your future!
They’re my future!
They're our future!—

(DAVID KACZYNSKI steps into WILD NATURE'S path. TEDs bedroll on his back. His face—the pain, the confusion—stops her.

WILD NATURE moves to a different part of the stage. When she’s about to resume singing, MRS. KACZYNSKI appears, watching her in puzzlement. The music stops.

She moves to a different part of the stage. DAVID GELERNTER wheels into her path She turns and LINDA KACZYNSKI appears, facing her. She doesn 't know where to turn.

A paper airplane lands at WILD NATURE’S feet TED appears and she goes to him. He takes down her hair. She takes off a layer of her costume, revealing the wild WILD NATURE beneath WILD NATURE sound rises: