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The Adding Machine Headed to Seattle Nov. 13 - Dec. 13

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New Century Theatre Company (NCTC), Seattle's newest professional theater, will make its official debut at ACT Theatre's Falls Theatre space with Elmer Rice's rarely produced American masterpiece,The Adding Machine. NCTC was founded by eight well-respected Seattle theater artists - HansAltwies, Paul Morgan Stetler, Amy Thone, Michael Patten, Stephanie Timm, Ray Gonzalez, Jennifer Lee Taylor and MJ Sieber - who share a deep desire to help reinvigorate Seattle's nationalreputation as a vibrant force of cutting-edge, ambitious, relevant theater. Locally respected theaterartists Darragh Kennan, Betsy Schwartz, and Peter Dylan O'Connor have recently joined NCTC tobring the company's membership to eleven.

NCTC is devoted to producing timely, vital stories that will reconnect Seattle audiences to thetranscendent power of live performance. NCTC members believe that "story is king" and arecommitted to plays that are fearless, heightened, sincere, dangerous, crass, erotic, ugly, and full ofhope. NCTC's focus is on timely works of the 20th Century; provocative "second looks" of underproduced,newer contemporary masterpieces; and annual world premieres from some of our country'smost talented up-and-coming writers. It is NCTC's goal to provide the Seattle community with afearless ensemble of local artists whose vast experience and developed sense of chemistry provide acohesive, dynamic, consistent theater-going experience they believe audiences crave.The idea for NCTC began in late 2006 when longtime friends Hans Altwies and Paul Stetler wereperforming together for the first time in a production of Edward Albee's The Lady From Dubuque atSeattle Rep. "We were frustrated by all the theaters that were closing in our city," Stetler said. "TheBathhouse, The Group, Tacoma Actor's Guild, The Empty Space...they were dropping like flies."Altwies agrees, "So, we figured why not take up the mantle and bring something new and exciting toour city." The fact that Stetler (married to playwright Stephanie Timm) and Altwies (married to The2007 Stranger Genius Award Winner Amy Thone) are also next-door neighbors allowed for many latenight,impassioned conversations. Altwies remembers, "What started out as a hypothetical situationvery quickly turned into something serious. We couldn't stop talking about it." Thone and Timmquickly became intrigued as did good friend (Executive Director) Michael Patten. A close-knit group ofwell-seasoned local actors soon joined in. "It just sort of materialized organically," Stetler says. "Wewere a company before we even knew it."

The long hard road to developing a new theatre company has certainly been peppered with obstacles;most of them financial. The Adding Machine, a huge and highly theatrical play, was purposefullyselected as the piece that will launch NCTC with a BANG! The budget for this inaugural show isroughly $55,000 and NCTC has single-handedly raised just over one-half of that strictly from personaldonations by friends, family and the Seattle theater community at large. Two more fundraisers arescheduled for late September and October. "We are amazed at the support and enthusiasm that iscoming our way. It feels like we have our finger on the pulse of something very exciting," says Stetler."It's true," adds Altwies. "Seattle is showing with their pocketbook that they are ready for somethingnew."

NCTC has also received tremendous guidance from ACT Theatre - to whom they are extremelygrateful - and wonderful support from their financial partner organization, Shunpike. "But we're notout of the woods, yet," Stetler is quick to point out. "We still have quite a ways to go."The Adding Machine, will be directed by John Langs (King Lear, Romeo & Juliet SeattleShakespeare Co.; Louis Slotin Sonata Empty Space, Crumbs Are Also Bread WET) and the cast willfeature the acting talents of company members Paul Morgan Stetler, Amy Thone, Darragh Kennan,Jennifer Lee Taylor, and MJ Sieber. Other cast members include Tracy Hyland, Evan Whitfield,Jane May, Joseph P. McCarthy, Kate Wisniewski, Jonah Von Sprechen, Kate Witt, Erwin Galan,Noah Benezra and Kate Parker. The creative team includes: set designer Jennifer Zeyl, lightingdesigner Geoff Korf, sound designer Rob Witmer, and costume designer Pete Rush. Props will behandled by Christy Penny and the Stage Manager will be Lori Amondson.

The Adding Machine will be produced under a Letter of Agreement with the Actor's EquityAssociation. Tickets are $25 ($20 for patrons under 25, with a valid ID) and are currently available atthe ACT Ticket Office, 700 Union Street, downtown Seattle, (206) 292-7676 or online at www.acttheatre.org. For more information about the New Century Theatre Company visit www.newcenturytheatrecompany.org

About The Adding MachineWritten in 1923, this groundbreaking play, with its themes of American business and quiet lives ofdesperation, is not only considered to be the first piece of expressionistic theater in the United States,but is also a surprisingly up-to-the-minute attack on the dehumanizing effect technology has onmodern society. This serio-comic tale follows the exploits of Mr. Zero, a hard working, psuedo-Everyman as he toils through his rather inconsequential existence only to discover that after years ofsoul-rending dedication to his job, he'll soon be replaced by a machine. Mr. Zero does not take thisnews lightly and his choices will soon send him on a path discovering the true nature of his existence.

Photo: Top Row (from L to R): Michael Patten, Jennifer Lee Taylor, Peter Dylan O'Connor, Ray Gonzalez, Darragh Kennan,Middle Row: Paul Morgan Stetler, Stephanie Timm, Betsy Schwartz. Bottom Row: Amy Thone, Hans Altwies, and MJ Sieber.

 


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