Three Plays by Elmer Rice

by  Elmer Rice

Collection / Anthology

This collection of plays by Pulitzer Prize winner Elmer Rice includes such seminal works as: The Adding Machine, Street Scene, and Dream Girl

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Three Plays by Elmer Rice

by  Elmer Rice

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  • Accolades



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The story focuses on Mr. Zero, an accountant at a large, faceless company. After 25 years at his job, he discovers that he will be replaced by an adding machine. In anger and pain, he snaps and kills his boss. Mr. Zero is then tried for murder, is found guilty and hanged, only to wake up in a heaven-like setting known as the "Elysian Fields." Mr. Zero then begins to operate an adding machine until the boss of the Elysian Fields, tells Zero that he is a waste of space and his soul is going to be sent back to the earth to be reused.

An outstanding Broadway success and winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this is a panorama of the comedy and tragedy of daily life played to the accompaniment of rumbling elevated trains and the tooting of whistles. Though this remarkable play is primarily a slice of life in a poor neighborhood, it is held together by a strikingly dramatic plot which has to do with a theatrical scene shifter whose wife has been having a sordid affair with the milkman. The husband returns unexpectedly and kills them both. The incident serves chiefly to crystalize the viewpoint and very human reactions of the entire neighborhood. This modern classic catches the varying moods of daily life as it is lived by millions in a large metropolis.

Tells of a delightful young woman who quite inefficiently runs a bookstore. She is one of those charming but dreamy, over-imaginative young women whom the slightest suggestion may send off into the most extravagant daydreams. In her own life she seeks at every opportunity to escape into a romantic world of unreality. During a single day of her life, which shows the actual episodes of her existence, several successive incidents of her dreaming are amusingly dramatized.
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  • Winner! 1929 Pulitzer Prize for Drama (Street Scene


Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Dinner Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Reader's Theatre
  • Shoestring Budget
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

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  • Minimum Fee: $90 per performance

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  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
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Elmer Rice

Elmer Rice (born Sept. 28, 1892, New York City—died May 8, 1967, Southampton, Hampshire, Eng.) was an American playwright, director, and novelist noted for his innovative and polemical plays. Rice graduated from the New York Law School in 1912 but soon turned to writing plays. His first work, the melodramatic On Trial ...

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The Adding Machine opened on Broadway at The Garrick Theatre on March 19, 1923. 

Street Scene was originally presented at The Playhouse in New York City on January 10th, 1929.

Dream Girl opened on Broadway at the Coronet Theatre on Dec 14, 1945. 

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