Indiana Daily Student

Cardinal Stage to present ‘Ada and the Engine’ starting Thursday

<p>A Cardinal Stage promotional photo that features actor Megan Massie who plays Ada Lovelace and actor Eric Olson who plays Charles Babbage is pictured. Cardinal Stage will present “Ada and the Engine” March 31 to April 16 at the John Waldron Auditorium. </p>

A Cardinal Stage promotional photo that features actor Megan Massie who plays Ada Lovelace and actor Eric Olson who plays Charles Babbage is pictured. Cardinal Stage will present “Ada and the Engine” March 31 to April 16 at the John Waldron Auditorium.

Cardinal Stage will present the play “Ada and the Engine” March 31 to April 16 at the John Waldron Auditorium. 

Ada Lovelace is a mathematician who is now recognized as the first computer programmer. The story follows Lovelace meeting and working with Charles Babbage, who is credited as the inventor of the analytical engine. The two experience a fictionalized love story as they struggle with their friendship, ambition and legacy. 

“One of the important themes would be living your life on your terms and not being afraid to break that glass ceiling or push the envelopes,” Megan Massie, who plays Lovelace, said. “Even if society is telling you you have to be one thing, trusting your vision and being who you're supposed to be.”

This show will introduce attendees to Lovelace as a historical role model and will focus on an overlooked moment in STEM history. With that, Cardinal has partnered with the IU Center of Excellence for Women & Technology to support a giveaway of over 100 tickets to attendees of its 9th Annual Summit on Women & Technology, according to the press release.

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This Cardinal production was supposed to be in March 2020, but was ultimately canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Eric Olson, who plays Babbage, was part of that original production, and he said being able to finally perform this play is a dream come true.

“Those of us who had been involved in the piece and loved it so much and have had this much time to let it live inside of us to deepen our connection to the play,” Olson said. “Then we have several new faces both onstage and off, who bring fresh perspectives, new ideas to it. 

Massie said she was cast for Lovelace in February as the original actor was unable to come back. Massie has worked with Cardinal Stage in the past as part of their “Sherlock in Btown” Walkabout Radio Play Series. 

Massie said one of her favorite elements of theater is getting to meet and work with new people. With a four-person cast from all around the United States, Massie said it was an honor to work with everyone.

“No two shows are the same and it's just been a really great experience to get to know my castmates as people but also as artists and to learn from them,” Massie said.  

Olson said this show has been incredibly rewarding, especially to be back after over two years. He credits the success in this experience to Kate Galvin, Cardinal Stage artistic director, and his fellow cast members.

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“I don't want to sound over the top pie in the sky, but this has been the most rewarding experience of my 30-plus year career,” Olson said. “I get to work so closely and extensively with Megan, and I truly could not imagine a more fearless, generous, gifted actor to be working opposite.”

Showtimes vary from 2 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. depending on the date. For more information, visit the Cardinal’s website.

Tickets for the show are on sale on Cardinal’s website with their “pay what you will” rate, allowing audience members to choose their own prices.   

All patrons are required to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test. Seating capacity will be reduced to approximately 50% and masks will be required.

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