Linfield Theatre to present ‘Ada and the Engine’ 


Ada and the EngineSteam-powered math, music and romance are at the heart of the upcoming Linfield College Theatre production, “Ada and the Engine.” 

The production features the full-length play by Lauren Gunderson, “America’s most popular playwright,” as Daniel Pollack-Pelzner, the Ronni Lacroute Chair in Shakespeare Studies at Linfield College, has dubbed her in The New Yorker. This year, Linfield Theatre’s 98th season, features the plays of Gunderson.  

“Ada and the Engine” runs Nov. 2-4 and Nov. 9-11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Marshall Theatre in Ford Hall at Linfield, with a matinee on Sunday, Nov. 5, at 2 p.m. It is directed by Janet Gupton, associate professor of theatre arts.  

“Ada and the Engine” explores the life of Ada Lovelace (daughter of flamboyant Romantic-era poet Lord Byron and Lady Annabella Byron) as the British Industrial Revolution dawns. Spurned and abandoned by her husband, the embittered Lady Annabella insists her daughter stay away from the impassioned, perilous life of a poet, and encourages Ada to study the sciences. When Ada meets the noted mathematician, inventor and mechanical engineer Charles Babbage, her “intellectual vibrancy” and “leaps of mental acuity” create an instant attraction between the two. However, because of their age difference, Lady Annabella has other plans for her daughter to marry a proper husband. Despite her mother’s concerns, Ada and Babbage begin a 20-year friendship, where their work on the analytical machine paved the way for the first computer and computer programming.  

In addition to the play, there will be a short question and answer discussion with the entire production team following the opening night performance.  

This production is presented by the Linfield Theatre Program and is a Linfield PLACE event (Program for Liberal Arts and Civic Engagement). This year’s PLACE them is the “Digital Citizen.” It is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Tickets are $9 for full price; $7 for seniors (62+), $7 for Linfield faculty and staff (two tickets per ID); and $5 for students (age 10+, any school, one ticket per ID); with a $2 discount on all tickets on opening night. Seating is reserved. Tickets are available online at and tickets will be available at the Marshall Theatre Box Office beginning Tuesday, Oct. 24, at 3 p.m. Located in Ford Hall, the box office is open Tuesday through Friday, 3-5 p.m., and until performance time on performance days. The box office will also be open Nov. 4 and 11, 3-7:30 p.m., and on Sunday, Nov. 5, noon-2 p.m. The box office is closed Mondays. For more information, call 503-883-2292. The Marshall Theatre is fully accessible.  

For more information, call 503-883-2292.