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K-State Today

November 2, 2011

Next on stage: Technology, human relationships count for drama in 'The Adding Machine'

Submitted by Communications and Marketing

"The Adding Machine," a satiric, fantastical look at the advance of technology and its effect on human relationships, adds up to the next production by Kansas State University's theater program. The play will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 10-12 in McCain Auditorium.

"The Adding Machine" follows Mr. Zero, a white-collar worker tied to a monotonous job and a nagging wife for 25 years. After being replaced by a machine at work, Mr. Zero snaps and kills his boss. He is sentenced to death for the crime and finds himself in the afterlife where his fears and frustrations become obstacles to his eternal happiness.

Written by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Elmer Rice, "The Adding Machine" is the first Kansas State University theater production directed by Jennifer Vellenga, assistant professor of theater and a new faculty member.

"The play employs several methods of the expressionistic theater movement including a nonrealistic setting, video projections and a stylized, physical approach to the acting in order to convey meaning over reality," Vellenga said.

Tickets cost $9 to $14, with a variety of discounts available for university students, faculty and staff, seniors and military families. They can be purchased at the McCain Auditorium box office from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. or by calling 785-532-6428 during box office hours. Tickets also may be purchased at the Little Theater box office in the K-State Student Union from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. Groups of 10 or more may receive a discount rate. For more information or assistance in planning a theater party, contact Marci Maullar at 785-532-6878.

Prior to her position at K-State, Vellenga worked in numerous professional theaters around the country, including the renowned Lincoln Center, where she served as the assistant director on the Broadway production of "Cymbeline." Additionally, she served as the assistant director at both the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, Minn., and the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, Calif., working on shows such as "Antony and Cleopatra" and "Compleat Female Stage Beauty." A professional actress, Vellenga is also a member of the Actors Equity Association.

She earned her bachelor of fine arts in acting from the University of Miami and her master of fine arts in directing from Ohio University. While employed as the assistant professor of acting and directing at the University of Miami, Vellenga directed several productions, including "Brighton Beach Memoirs," "Hello, Dolly!" and "Big Love."

In addition to Vellenga, K-State theater faculty, artistic staff and faculty designers for "The Adding Machine" include: Kathy Voecks, associate professor of theater, set design; Dana Pinkston, associate professor of theater, costume design; John Uthoff, associate professor of theater, sound reinforcement and design; and Darren Levin, assistant technical director/lighting supervisor for McCain Auditorium, lighting design.

K-State students in the cast or crew for "The Adding Machine" include:

Ben Deghand, sophomore in theater, Berryton, as Shrdlu, Mr. Four, juror seven and mother.

From Greater Kansas City: Abbey Briscoe, senior in theater, Kansas City, Kan., as Mrs. One and juror two; Nahshon Ruffin, junior in theater, as Mrs. Four, stout woman and juror eight, and Olivia Sieck, junior in theater, as Mrs. Two, Charley and juror four, both from Overland Park; and Michael Allen, freshman in theater, Shawnee, as Mr. Three, father, guard one and juror five.

Eric Brown, junior in political science, Liberal, as Lt. Charles, Mr. Six and juror one.

From Manhattan: Isabella Alonso, sophomore in apparel and textiles and theater, as the boss and Judy O'Grady; Chelsey Eimer, senior in mass communications and theater, sound reinforcement and design; and Diana Watts, junior in theater, as Mrs. Zero.

Kevin Payton, junior in theater, Munjor, as policeman one, guard two and the head; Joey Boos, sophomore in theater, Salina, as Mr. Zero; Amanda Garvey, freshman in theater, as Mrs. Five and juror 10, and Kaity Martin, freshman in theater, as Mrs. Three, the youth and juror six, both from Topeka; Matthew Ellis, sophomore in theater, Ulysses, as Mr. Two, the young man, boy of 14 and juror three; and Tegan Perkins, junior in theater, Wichita, as Mrs. Six, tall woman and juror 12.

From out of state: J.C. Joson, freshman in theater, Anchorage, Alaska, as Mr. One, Eustace, Joe and juror one; Sissy Anne Quaranta, senior in theater, Denver, Colo., as Daisy Devore; and Deontae' Hayden, sophomore in theater, Fort Worth, Texas, as The Fixer, Mr. Five and juror nine.