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Play by SFSU faculty about Unabomber premieres at Magic Theatre


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October 21, 2002

"Ted Kaczynski Killed People with Bombs," a new play written by SFSU creative writing Professor Michelle Carter and directed by SFSU theatre arts Professor Bill Peters, will be performed through Nov. 10 at the Magic Theatre at Fort Mason Center in San Francisco.

An investigation of the Unabomber combining fictional scenes and original songs written and performed by Carter, the play offers an analysis of his life, his intentions and society's continuing quest to understand.

Diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic, deemed by most a madman and terrorist, and even lauded by some, the Unabomber continues to intrigue the public.

Kaczynski, a brilliant mathematician, attended Harvard at age 16 and worked for almost two years as an assistant professor of mathematics at UC Berkeley. Named one of the 25 Most Intriguing People of 1996 by People magazine, he was sentenced to prison for life in 1998 for conducting a 17-year mail bomb campaign that killed three people and injured 23 others.

Just this spring, Kaczynski published an essay in the radical environmental newsletter Green Anarchy. His essay was similar to his original, 35,000-word manifesto encouraging revolutionaries to "eliminate the entire techno-industrial system," by force if necessary.

Carter, a novelist and playwright, also wrote the 1999 Magic Theatre play "Hillary and Soon-Yi Shop for Ties." She has been featured at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and has twice been a finalist at the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Conference. Her first novel, "On Other Days While Going Home," was a New York Times Book Review editor's pick. Since then, she has published more than 30 short stories in magazines and anthologies, including Playgirl, New American Writing, Epoch, 20 Under 30 (Scribners), and The New Generation (Doubleday).

Peters teaches directing, playwriting and Shakespeare performance at SFSU. He has directed many popular campus productions including "A Midsummer Night's Dream," "Major Barbara," "Sweeney Todd," "Glengarry/Glen Ross," "The Three Sisters," "Cherry Orchard" and three one-acts by Vaclav Havel. He has also directed his own adaptations of "Nine Stories by Chekhov," Dostoevski's "The Possessed," Feydeau's "A Flea in her Ear," Charles Dickens' "Hard Times," and Eduardo Galeano's "Memory of Fire." He is also a co-founding member of Ghostlight Theater Co.

"Ted Kaczynski Killed People With Bombs" opens the 35th season of the Magic Theatre. It will be the last season in which SFSU theatre arts Professor Larry Eilenberg serves as artistic director. For showtimes and tickets, visit the Magic Theatre Web site.

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Last modified October 21, 2002, by the Office of Public Affairs