Project Description

GO! LA Weekly
“Welcome to the cheerless world of Mr. Zero (a fine turn by David Allen Jones), a numbers-crunching office drone, 35 years on the same job (“Never missed a day!”), whose home life is equally depressing because of his incessantly badgering wife (Karen Kalensky). Things get much worse for him when he is suddenly informed that he’s to be replaced by an adding machine. In a flash, Zero murders his boss (David Ghilardi) and is tried, convicted and executed. But his misery does not end at death. In a brief, comical sojourn in the afterlife, he encounters a co-worker he had the hots for (Jane Macfie), but during a philosophical discussion with the creepy but hysterically funny Lt. Charles (Frank Simons), Zero learns he must return to Earth and do it all over again. Call it a reincarnation treadmill. Elmer Rice’s 1923 landmark expressionist satire could well have been written last year. Racism, sexual harassment, corporate greed and downsizing are all issues the play humorously essays. This production boasts a solid cast that turns in polished, energetic performances under the crafty direction of Kevin Cochran. Leonard Ogden’s toy-box set design, redolent of a continually morphing Lego block, is a hoot.” -LA Weekly

“In a world in which job outsourcing and its economic aftershocks have become weapons of political aggression, it’s uncanny how timely Elmer Rice’s script remains despite having originally premiered in 1923. Director Kevin Cochran and a multifaceted cast of eight keep this extended one-act clicking like a well-oiled version of the play’s title . . . Heading the cast of Rice’s numerically named characters is David Allen Jones’ outstanding performance as the long suffering Mr. Zero . . . The remainder of Cochran’s cast brings to life a bizarre collection of personages. As Daisy Devore, Zero’s workplace associate and object of his romantic fantasies, Jane Macfie creates a believable dichotomy of earthly frustration and post-suicidal happiness as she and Zero meet in a purgatory-like location known as The Elysian Fields. Similarly, Skip Pipo and Joe Langer display a skill for making the most of supporting roles . . . The show’s design is a wonder. Leonard Ogden’s constantly unfolding set reminds one of a giant Rubik’s Cube and is in itself worth the price of admission. Particularly gasp-inducing, given the tight confines of this venue, is the set’s transformation into Zero’s jail cell. David Darwin’s lighting and Hunter Stephenson’s sound design are equally emblematic of this fine rendition of Rice’s emotionally charged story.” -Arts in LA

Presented by Grove Theater Center
Kevin Cochran, Artistic Director
Charles Johanson, Executive Director

July & August, 2012

The Adding Machine
by Elmer Rice
directed by Kevin Cochran

Leonard Ogden (Set Design)
David Darwin (Lighting Design)
Hunter Stephenson (Sound & Costumes)

Cast (in order of first appearance)
*Karen Kalensky (Mrs. Zero)
*David Allen Jones (Mr. Zero)
*Kate Danley (Mrs. Z (2), Mrs. 1, Tour Guide, Judy)

*Frank Simons (Mrs. Z (3), Cop, Father, Guard, Lt. Charles)
*Jane Macfie (Daisy Devore, Mrs. 3, Mother)
David Ghilardi (Boss, Mr. 3, Charley, Bill)
Skip Pipo (Mr. 1, Eustace, Shrdlu)
*Joe Langer (Mr. 2, Student, Fixer, Head, Joe)

*member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers in the U.S.
The Director is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, the union of professional stage directors in the United States.