“The Adding Machine” Steals the Show at CSN

Cast "The Adding Machine"

Cast “The Adding Machine”

By Neise Cordeiro

Sold-out production “The Adding Machine” opened theater season at College of Southern Nevada.

Aaron Tuttle, lead faculty of theater at CSN, shared his excitement about opening night.

“I was very happy and there was a huge sense of relief,” said Tuttle, who directed the play. “When an artist puts something together, especially something non-realistic, there is always fear of failure.”

Far from failure, the show saw much success early on and is competing to get a spot at a national festival in Washington D.C. in April 2016.

The audience reacted strongly with applause and laughter night after night during the show’s run Nov. 6 to 15.

According to Tuttle, the Backstage Theatre’s layout played an important part in how the audience reacted to the production. “We had a sold-out house on opening. This theater is an intimate space that adds to the show’s performance and response.”

The Backstage Theatre accommodates 100 seats in a flat-floor stage area. It gives more flexibility when directors and designers work on different set and blocking configurations.

Tuttle added that there were doubts about producing the show. “This was a project that many were unsure of due to the fact it is rarely produced; however, the response was overwhelmingly positive,” Tuttle said.

The playwright Elmer Rice, past Pulitzer-Prize winner, tells the story of Mr. Zero in his famed show “The Adding Machine.” Mr. Zero is an accountant who was fired from his position after working 25 years for the same company. When Mr. Zero finds out he was replaced by an adding machine, he kills his boss during an attack of rage. He is then judged, imprisoned and executed for murder. From beginning to end the character is trapped between reality and a subconscious conflict in his mind.

Director Aaron Tuttle, faculty and attendees

Director Aaron Tuttle, faculty and attendees

The cast included the following actors: Sean Craig Stuart, who played Mr. Zero; Beckie Lookingbill, who played Mrs. Zero; Ariana Jeter, who played Daisy Devore; Sega Shines, who played Boss, the Young Man and Charles; Adam Yeager, who played Shrdlu; and Vanessa Regalado, Demyia Browning, Theresa McCormick, Lashonza Featherston and Gabby Silveroli as ensemble.

“The acting quality is good,” said Daniel Mendoza, former CSN student who attended opening night. “You can tell they know their stuff here. They are in good training.”

“I feel like there were a lot of universal themes present with ‘The Adding Machine’,” said Sega Shines, actor who played multiple characters in the production. “It is a multi-faceted play. It goes over a lot. It goes over the bounds of good and evil, man versus machine, the idea of marriage. So I feel it is very relatable to today’s audiences.”

“I’m blessed with such a good cast,” said Sean Craig Stuart, actor who played Mr. Zero. “They were always there to catch me up. The entire team has been incredibly good to each other.”

CSN theater instructor Joan Mullaney said she was impressed by the performances and especially with the technical aspects of the production.

“I loved the lights; I loved the sound,” said Mullaney, who was in the audience. “I loved the simplicity of the blocks as the scenery. Something so simple became a bed and the tombstones and we believed it.”

CSN’s production of “The Adding Machine” was submitted for entry to The Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Washington D.C. The festival promotes and celebrates the finest theatrical productions in the nation.

Stuart and Shines

Stuart and Shines

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