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OWU Theatre Season Opens with 'The Adding Machine'


October 17, 2000

[ 'The Adding Machine' Cast Photo ]DELAWARE, OHIO -- Ohio Wesleyan University's main stage theatre will dramatize the dehumanizing effects of advancing technology with the season's first production of The Adding Machine by Elmer Rice on Oct. 20, 21, 27, 28, and 29.

The Adding Machine was first produced on Broadway by the Theatre Guild in 1923. It is considered one of the most classic examples of expressionism in the American Theatre. The Adding Machine tells the fantastic journey of Mr. Zero, a cog in the vast machine of modern business. Using numbers instead of people, Rice satirizes the life and legacy of Mr. Zero. With humor and terror, we witness his struggle to survive in a mechanized society which reduces men to soul-less robots.

The story is told quite simply in seven scenes. On the eve of his 25th year with the company, an adding machine replaces Mr. Zero, a repressed accountant. In anger and frustration, he kills his boss, is tried and executed. But his dehumanization continues as he embarks on a cosmic journey, seeking redemption and purpose. Ultimately, Zero discovers he is doomed to an eternity of mindless slavery.

The Adding Machine is being directed by OWU theatre professor Bonnie Milne Gardner. Costume designs are by Presley Morton, Ohio Wesleyan staff costumer. Otterbein faculty Rob Johnson is the guest set designer, and Brendan Michna, Ohio Wesleyan senior is designing lights. Senior theatre major Stephen Cady plays the expendable Mr. Zero. Co-stars include Emily Fillmore as Mrs. Zero, Emily Hill as Daisy, Dave Tessier as Mr. Shrdlu, and Dan Granata as Charles. Sophomore Mary Ellen Rieck is stage manager.

The production, which lasts about one hour and 45 minutes with one intermission, will be performed on the mainstage theatre of the Chappelear Drama Center, 45 Rowland Avenue. Production dates and times are Oct. 20, 21, 27, 28 at 8 p.m. and Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $7 for the general public, $6 for Ohio Wesleyan faculty and staff, and $5 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the drama center's box office or by calling 740-368-3855.