#Finborough For Free – Adding Machine: A Musical

Composed by Joshua Schmidt.
Libretto by Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt
Based on the play The Adding Machine by Elmer Rice.

Online until 12 November 2020

The UK premiere production from 2016

WARNING: Adding Machine: A Musical is based on the 1923 play Adding Machine by Elmer Rice. As an indictment and examination of white privilege, it contains racist language that may cause offence.
Age recommendation 12+

To view, please click here.

A subtitled version of this video is available to watch from our partners at Scenesaver, here.

To read all about the original Finborough Theatre production of Adding Machine: A Musical, please click here.

★★★★★ BritishTheatre.com
★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ Evening Standard
★★★★ Time Out
★★★★ WhatsOnStage
★★★★ The Stage
★★★★ Musical Theatre Review
★★★★ Londontheatre1.com
★★★★ BroadwayWorld.com
★★★★ Jewish Renaissance

The 2016 Finborough Theatre production of the UK premiere of Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt’s Adding Machine: A Musical.

Ever feel like killing your boss?

After 25 long years spent adding figures in the same soul-crushing job, Mr Zero suddenly finds himself replaced by a machine. For the first time in his life, Zero takes his destiny into his own hands. The consequences set him on a path through this world and beyond, offering him one last chance for love, life and redemption.

Take an extraordinary journey with Mr Zero in this stirring and hilariously dark anti-musical as it asks us to consider the true price of a human soul, told through Joshua Schmidt’s haunting score, inspired by gospel, opera, jazz and rock and roll.

The UK premiere of Jason Loewith and Joshua Schmidt’s multi-award winning musical adaptation of Elmer Rice’s groundbreaking 1923 play is directed by Josh Seymour, named Best Director at the 2016 Off West End Theatre Awards for One Arm at Southwark Playhouse.

Adding Machine: A Musical won the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Musical, and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Musical and Outstanding New Score.

We welcome donations to
Finborough Theatre
Acting For Others
In the US, National Alliance for Musical Theatre

About The Composer and Co-Librettist

Composer/Co-Author Joshua Schmidt’s Off-Broadway work includes A Minister’s Wife (Lincoln Center), Adding Machine: A Musical (Minetta Lane Theatre), Whida Peru (59E59 Theaters) and Gift of the Magi (American Players Theatre, WI). His incidental scores include When the Rain Stops Falling (Lincoln Center) and Fifty Words (MCC Theater). His work as Composer and Sound Designer includes – on Broadway – Therese Raquin (Roundabout Theatre and Studio 54), House of Blue Leaves (Walter Kerr Theatre), Brighton Beach Memoirs (Nederlander Theatre) and – Off Broadway – Dinner With Friends (Roundabout Theatre), Model Apartment (Primary Stages), 3 Kinds of Exile (Atlantic Theatre), Water by the Spoonful (Second Stage) and Crime and Punishment (59E59 Theaters). Work in Chicago includes Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theater, Writers’ Theatre (Associate Artist), Northlight Theatre, Next Theatre Company and Seanachai Theatre Company. Regional work includes over 150 productions at venues across North America including Stratford Shakespeare Festival (Ontario, Canada), Philadelphia Theatre Company, The Kennedy Center, Ford's Theatre (Washington DC), Seattle Repertory Theatre, Alley Theatre (Resident Artist – Houston, Texas), Arizona Theater Company, Cleveland Playhouse, Kansas City Rep, South Coast Repertory (California), Delaware Theatre Company, 14 Seasons at American Players Theatre (Spring Green, Wisconsin) and Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Commissions include Metropolitan Opera, RKO, CraneKahn, Playwrights Horizons, Sloan/MCT and Signature (VA) Writers Theatre. Recordings include Adding Machine: A Musical and A Minister’s Wife (both released on PS Classics and available on iTunes and Amazon). Schmidt has worked as an Associate Artist at venues including Alley Theatre in Houston and Writers Theatre in Glencoe. Teaching includes lecturings at Harvard, Suffolk, Mississippi-Oxford, Illinois Urbana/Champaign, Wisconsin-Madison and Wisconsin-Milwaukee. He is a member of ASCAP and has won numerous awards and recognition including Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Jeff, ASCAP, NEA/TCG, Prague Quadrennial 2007 and Sundance Theatre Lab UCross 2012.

About The Co-Librettist

Co-Librettist Jason Loewith won Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle and Jeff awards for Best New Musical for Adding Machine: A Musical, which he co-wrote with composer Joshua Schmidt. His other writing includes Big Nate: The Musical and The Director's Voice, Volume 2 (published by TCG). Since 2013, he has been Artistic Director of the Olney Theatre Center outside Washington DC where he has directed the rolling world premiere of Steven Dietz’s Rancho Mirage as well as Marjorie Prime, Carousel, How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Direction) and Avenue Q. Recent regional work as a director includes the world premiere of Broke (Alliance Theatre, Atlanta), Time Stands Still (Everyman, Baltimore), Crime and Punishment and Working It Out (Center Stage, Baltimore), Adding Machine: A Musical (Studio Theatre, Washington DC) and a dozen plays for Chicago’s Next Theatre Company where he served as Artistic Director from 2002-08, including the Chicago area premieres of Dying City, Defiance, The Long Christmas Ride Home and Fabulation. He conceived and directed the world premiere of The American Dream Songbook, wrote and directed the world premiere of War With the Newts and produced Chicago premieres by Caryl Churchill, Suzan-Lori Parks, Carson Kreitzer, Sam Shepard, Dael Orlandersmith and many more. He is a three-time grantee from the NEA for Artistic Excellence, a recipient of support from the Rockefeller MAP Fund and MacArthur’s International Connections Fund and a TCG New Generations Future Leaders grant. Before joining the team at Olney Theatre Center, Loewith proudly served four years as Executive Director of the National New Play Network and five years with Classic Stage Company Off-Broadway.

About The Playwright

Playwright Elmer Rice (1892-1967) was noted for his innovative and polemical plays, best known for Street Scene (1929), a starkly realistic tragedy set outside a New York City slum tenement building, which won a Pulitzer Prize and was adapted into a highly popular musical with lyrics by Langston Hughes and music by Kurt Weill. His other plays include On Trial (1914), The Adding Machine (1923), Counsellor-at-Law (1931), We, the People (1933) and Judgment Day (1934). Rice was active in the WPA Federal Theatre Project in the mid-1930s, and also championed the American Civil Liberties Union and the cause of free speech and in the 1950s he was an opponent of U.S. Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. Rice also wrote several novels and an autobiography, Minority Report (1963).

About The Producers

Producer Alex Turner produced One Arm at Southwark Playhouse in 2015. As a founding Artist and Producer of award-winning interactive theatre company non zero one, Alex has co-devised and produced productions at the Barbican, National Theatre, Bush Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Science Museum and the Edinburgh Fringe. Alex joined Playful Productions in 2014 as Production Assistant to work across productions including Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies, Blithe Spirit, Wicked, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Shrek The Musical UK tour, Dirty Dancing, American Buffalo, The Audience, Kinky Boots and currently works on No Man’s Land and as Development Assistant. He has previously worked for the Barbican Centre, Theatre Delicatessen, Royal Shakespeare Company, Frantic Assembly and Kate Morley PR. For non zero one, Alex was also a visiting lecturer on the Undergraduate Drama and Theatre degree at Royal Holloway, University of London.

Associate Producer Effie Stevenson is Company Director of SDWC Productions Ltd, a theatre production company based in London's West End. She is currently producing four shows at the London Fringe during 2016 and is planning the Company's 2017 season of London shows. She is a recipient of a Stage One bursary for new producers, a member of ITC Arts, the Institute of Fundraising and the Institute of PR. Recent productions include Thoroughly Modern Millie (Landor Theatre), I'm Getting My Act Together And Taking It On The Road (Jermyn Street Theatre) and The Burnt Part Boys (Park Theatre).

About The Director

Director Josh Seymour won an OffWestEnd Award for Best Director for his production of One Arm (Southwark Playhouse). Other direction includes The Laramie Project (Curve Theatre), Loserville (Stafford Gatehouse), Les Miserables (Arts at Stowe), Sarah & Sarah (Waterloo East Theatre) and Four Dogs and a Bone (London Festival Fringe). As Resident Assistant Director at the Donmar Warehouse, Seymour worked on City of Angels, Privacy (both directed by Josie Rourke), Fathers and Sons (directed by Lyndsey Turner), My Night With Reg (directed by Rob Hastie, and was Associate Director for the West End transfer) and Versailles (directed by Peter Gill). Other Assistant Direction includes Candide (Menier Chocolate Factory), Our House (UK tour), Good Grief (Theatre Royal Bath and UK tour) and Sixty-Six Books (Bush Theatre). He was a finalist for the 2012 JMK Award.

The Press on The Off-Broadway Production of Adding Machine: A Musical

“Improbably brilliant, grotesquely funny, with music that gets under your skin and stays there” The New York Times

“Witty, high-reaching and provocative… the best new musical of its year” Time Out New York

The Press on Director Josh Seymour

“This compelling stage adaptation is brought to joltingly vivid life in Josh Seymour’s intelligent production.” Paul Taylor, The Independent on One Arm

“Director Josh Seymour gives One Arm a full-bodied treatment that's well executed (excuse the multiple puns). A gripping play, lovingly done.” Mark Shenton, The Stage on One Arm

“Josh Seymour’s production is intelligent and sensitive, studded with moments of tenderness and delicacy.” Natasha Tripney, The Stage on One Arm

“Josh Seymour has a great eye and vision, turning the piece into a filmic delight.” Philip Fisher, British Theatre Guide on One Arm

“Josh Seymour’s direction is beautiful and multifaceted… Engaging and enthralling.” Rebecca Hewett, Theatre Bubble on One Arm

“It’s not often that I come away from a piece praising the director for putting together a 5-star cast, together with a striking set design, powerful lighting and harrowing music. But, as I left the theatre last night I made a note to check out all future work of Josh Seymour.” Faye Stockley, LondonTheatre1 on One Arm

The Press on Adding Machine: A Musical at the Finborough Theatre

★★★★★ BritishTheatre.com
★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ Evening Standard
★★★★ Time Out
★★★★ WhatsOnStage
★★★★ The Stage
★★★★ Musical Theatre Review
★★★★ Londontheatre1.com
★★★★ BroadwayWorld.com
★★★★ Jewish Renaissance

“A wonderfully brave piece.” WhatsOnStage

“Josh Seymour's dark, intense production is staged with chilling, thrilling precision.” The Stage

“One of the best productions you are likely to see all year.” BritishTheatre.com

“An intense, impressive production.”  Time Out

“A hugely impressive production by Josh Seymour.” Gareth’s Culture and Travel Blog

“Director Josh Seymour…give[s] it life and soul.” British Theatre Guide

“A clever production of a clever musical." LondonTheatre1

“Josh Seymour's gritty production.” UK Theatre Network

“Compellingly strange and also weirdly wonderful.” The Stage

“A fascinating, unique experience that takes musical theatre as its format, but jumps off into spaces inhabited by other art forms in other periods.” Broadway World

“Josh Seymour has staged the piece with inventive use of space which is beautifully timed and paced in its constant flow.” London Theatre Reviews

“Direction by Josh Seymour intelligently contrasts the two halves of the show and seamlessly integrates drama, music, spoken word and movement.”  The Jewish Renaissance Blog

Online until 12 November 2020