Mainstage Auditions for The Adding Machine - September 1, 2014

For its Fall 2014 Production, the SLU Department of Performance and Communication Arts will present The Adding Machine by Elmer Rice.  This experimental play premiered in 1923, and was foundational in defining the genre of American Expressionism in the theater. Other well-known plays of the genre include Eugene O’Neill’s The Emperor Jones (1920) and Sophie Treadwell’s Machinal (1928). The Adding Machine is also a close cousin to such film classics as The Cabinet of Dr. Calligari (1920) and Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927).

In the story, the central figure of Mr. Zero (his neighbors are Mr. & Mrs. One, Mr.  & Mrs. Two, Mr.  & Mrs. Three, . . .) goes, as he does every day, to his job as an accountant at a department store. This particular day happens to be the twenty-fifth anniversary of his employment, and it is also the day on which he is fired and replaced with a mechanical adding machine. Traumatized by this event, Mr.  Zero murders his boss, surrenders to the police, is tried and executed, is resurrected, explores the afterlife in the paradisiacal Elysian Fields, rejects true love, chooses to spend eternity operating a new super-hyper adding machine,  and is eventually recycled as cosmic raw material.  It is a comedy.

Auditions will be held at the Gulick Theater on Monday, September 1, from 7 - 9 pm.  Auditioners will be asked to “perform” (script in hand) a two minute selection from one of the play’s several long speeches. It is not necessary to prepare this in advance. HOWEVER, those wishing to prepare are invited to read the script in advance and to select their own monologue.  To do this, please send an email to the director ( with the word “script” in the subject heading. He will reply to your email with a PDF file of the Adding Machine script attached.