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caldwell's bomb
a dark comedy
by bill rogers

From the playwright

history teaches that times of economic hardship and rapid change often breed violence. those looking for simple answers to complex questions may seek out scapegoats to blame for their troubles
history shows that society ignores or minimizes the threat posed by such groups at its peril.



Caldwell's Bomb

by Bill Rogers

Directed by Herman Johansen


It's the summer of 2010, and a small Missouri town is dying' hemorrhaging jobs, population, and civility. Many of the people who remain are confused, frightened, and looking for scapegoats to blame for their troubles.

Several of the town’s angriest men have formed the Eagles of Liberty militia to battle those they blame for unemployment, changing demographics, and what they perceive as the conspiracy to destroy traditional American values.

Time & Place: The summer of 2010 in Southern Missouri. 


All characters are from the Midwest

Caldwell Ducey – early 20s - intellectually challenged, physically robust young man. Mechanically gifted.

Deena Ducey – mid 40s - Caldwell’s widowed mother, hardworking but can’t catch a break

Earl - 40s  - frustrated, unemployed meat-cutter…recently joined The Eagles of Liberty, a local anti-government militia group. Lives with Deena.

Jimbo Jolley - 60 – A religious fanatic reputed to be an authority on both the Bible and the Constitution. A leader of The Eagles of Liberty.


Rehearsals: Sep 12 – Oct 1, 2022

Tech: Oct 2 – 4, 2022

Preview: Thu - Oct 6, 2022


Thu – Sat 7:30pm & Sun 2pm - Oct 7 – 23, 2022

Tips from the Director

  • Jimbo should not be played as 'evil' as in his mind he is simply doing the right and righteous thing.  He is truly convinced his mission is for good.

  • Earl is not the 'sharpest tool in the shed' but that is obvious in the way he is written and you don't need to go to any further lengths to make him backward or simple.  He does have a decent heart; he is disillusioned with the state of his life and town and is easily led.

  • Deena is a hardworking single Mom who loves Caldwell and will do anything for him and also does love Earl, even though she may be clinging to happier times they had.

  • Caldwell is not stupid.  He walks to the beat of a different drummer; one that  perhaps no one else in this small town hears which makes him appear a bit 'slow.'  He has had a tough childhood with his father's history and his Mother's search for love.  He is a big bear of a kid who finally asserts himself in the end.

  • In general, these folks are not hick stereotypes; they have dreams, they are hardworking and they each have their redeeming qualities (yes, even Jimbo).  Search for the good and the fun in them layered with the disappointment and hardship they each have had to deal with in their lives.

  • Bill has written the language well; no need to hammer the dialect.  A fairly neutral dialect coupled with following the cadence and grammar of lines as written will serve you well.  Any mispronunciations are intentional.

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