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Classic comedy by Elmer Rice to be held at Chesapeake Studio Theatre

The Boss, played by Matt Cole, (left), harasses Mr. Zero, acted by Ed Palmer, in a scene from The Adding Machine. Mrs. Zero, played by Ashley Cavasos, adds to the burdensome life of Mr. Zero, played by Ed Palmer, in a scene from The Adding Machine.


HAMPTON ROADS, Va. – (March 24, 2005) – Tidewater Community College’s theatre department presents the American classic, expressionistic comedy, The Adding Machine, April 6-16 in the studio theatre of the Chesapeake Campus, 1428 Cedar Rd., Chesapeake.

Written by Elmer Rice in 1923, the play chronicles the life of a character named Zero who discovers that after 25 years on the job he will be replaced by an adding machine.Zero murders his boss with a billing file, and his subsequent trial and execution are just the beginning of the story. He ventures into the afterlife, and after encountering other dead souls, in a grave yard, he finds himself in the Elysian Fields where he is reunited with his former co-worker, Daisy Diana Dorothea Devore. Zero falls in love but is unable to handle the “free life” and decides to leave possible happiness behind. Later Zero finds himself in some kind of a cosmic office where he learns some unpleasant truths about himself and gets the disconcerting news that he must return to earth to do it all over again.

The play is written in a non-realistic style known as expressionism that focuses on the psychological truth without regard to limitations of physical reality. Actions, characters, and locations may at times seem very strange to an audience expecting a conventional play. Above all, The Adding Machine is a thought-provoking play that will surely have audience members re-evaluating their short stays on earth.

The production involves 28 TCC theatre students and is directed by theatre department chair Edwin Jacob. Technical director and designer Matthew Gorris oversees the technical aspects of the production. For tickets and reservations, call 822-5219; student and senior tickets run $5; adult tickets $8; seating is limited.

The Adding Machine
April 6-9 at 8 p.m.
April 10 at 2 p.m.
April 13-16 at 8 p.m.



Laurie White
Media Relations

Tidewater Community College is the second largest of the 23 community colleges in the Commonwealth of Virginia, enrolling more than 35,000 students annually. The 37th largest in the nation’s 1,600 community-college network, TCC ranks among the 50 fastest-growing large community colleges. Founded in 1968 as a part of the Virginia Community College System, the college serves the South Hampton Roads region with campuses in Chesapeake, Norfolk, Portsmouth and Virginia Beach as well as the TCC Jeanne and George Roper Performing Arts Center in the theater district in downtown Norfolk, the Visual Arts Center in Olde Towne Portsmouth and a regional Advanced Technology Center in Virginia Beach. Forty-four percent of the region’s residents attending a college or university in Virginia last fall were enrolled at TCC. For more information, visit