The Adding Machine

The Adding Machine

by: Elmer Rice

by: Elmer Rice

SubGenre

Ready to perform?

The Adding Machine is available to license!

Learn More

The Adding Machine

The Adding Machine

by: Elmer Rice

by: Elmer Rice

Overview

Mr. Zero is an accountant at a large, faceless company. After twenty-five 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, 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 Earth to be reused. The play ends with Zero following a very attractive girl named Hope offstage. During the whole series of this episodic journey, Mr. Zero is surprisingly oblivious to his deepest needs, wants, and desires. 

SubGenre

Ready to perform?

The Adding Machine is available to license!

Learn More

Keywords

Aging, Business, Death

Details

  • Genre: Experimental
  • Cast Attributes: Ensemble cast, Reduced casting (Doubling Possible), Expandable casting, Flexible casting
  • Target Audience: Adult

Authors

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 ...

View full profile

Community Experiences