Ada and the Engine
Garret Storms, Kelsey Milbourn, Steven Pounders, and Megan Haratine
Evan Michael Woods

Stage West - Ada and the Engine

Performance: Jan 9 2020 to Feb 9 2020

By: Lauren Gunderson
Intriguing...the story is pretty irresistible. - San Francisco Chronicle

How do you escape the shadow of your brilliant, infamous father? Do you pursue your own path, a path that leads to envisioning the first computer? Or do you follow the norm - marry a suitable man and start a family? It may sound like romantic fiction, but it's not. This is the amazing story of Ada Byron Lovelace, in Lauren Gunderson's Ada and the Engine, which begins a 5-week regional premiere run at Stage West on Thursday, January 9.

Ada's interest in science and math has been encouraged from an early age by her formidable mother Annabella, who is determined that no shred of her father Lord Byron's poetic and libertine nature should develop in her. Mentored by the eminent mathematician Mary Somerville, Ada's abilities have flourished. But now it's time for her to settle down and make a suitable match. And though Ada is drawn to the brilliant inventor and scientist Charles Babbage, she agrees to a marriage to William King, Lord Lovelace.

So Ada finds herself caught in an odd sort of love triangle. On the one hand, she is mindful of her responsibilities to her children and her supportive husband. But on the other, she is so drawn to the music of numbers and the potential offered by Babbage's Analytical Engine that she cannot give the relationship up. As pressures mount and feelings grow, Ada and Babbage make a revelatory discovery which will change everything. It's an engrossing story about a woman well ahead of her time which makes you wonder-what might she have accomplished in another place and time?

Lauren Gunderson is the most produced living playwright in America, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation's 3-Year Residency with Marin Theatre Co. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU's Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been commissioned, produced and developed at companies across the US including the Denver Center (The Book of Will), South Coast Rep (Emilie, Silent Sky), The Kennedy Center (The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful and Her Dog!), the O'Neill Theatre Center, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre, Synchronicity, Olney Theatre, Geva, and more. Her work is published by Dramatists Play Service (Silent Sky, Bauer), Playscripts (I and You; Exit, Pursued By A Bear; Toil And Trouble), and Samuel French (Emilie). She is a Playwright in Residence at The Playwrights Foundation, and a proud Dramatists Guild member. She is from Atlanta, GA, and lives in San Francisco. and @LalaTellsAStory.

Ada and the Engine will be directed by Emily Scott Banks, who recently directed Foxfire for Theatre Three. The cast features Kelsey Milbourn, last at Stage West as Masha in Stupid F*cking Bird, as Ada, with Steven Pounders, a standout as Vanya in Stage West's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike, as Charles Babbage. Playing the dual roles of Annabella and Mary Somerville will be Megan Haratine, seen last season at Stage West in Everybody. And returning to our stage is Stage West's Associate Producer Garret Storms, just seen at Undermain in The Thanksgiving Play, as both Lord Lovelace and Lord Byron.

Set design is by Michael Sullivan, with lighting design by Adam Chamberlin, costume design by Becca Janney, sound design by David Lanza, projection design by Tristan Decker, and props and set d├ęcor by Lynn Lovett.

Ada and the Engine will preview Thursday, January 9 at 7:30 and Friday, January 10 at 8:00, and will run through Sunday, February 9. The opening night reception will be after the performance on Saturday, January 11. Performance times will be Thursday evenings at 7:30, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8:00, with Sunday matinees at 3:00. Ticket prices for the new season are $35 on Thursdays and Fridays, and $40 on Saturdays and Sundays, with $20 tickets for the two preview performances. Food service is available 90 minutes prior to performances (reservations are advised). Reservations and information are available through the Box Office (817-784-9378), or on the website,


Stage West is pleased to announces the lineup for its 41st season! The new season will offer six plays and patrons purchasing season tickets before June 30 will be offered an extra pass. It's an exciting mix of shows: all six are regional premieres, and one is a Pulitzer winner. Here it is:

The Lifespan of a Fact
Regional Premiere
by Jeremy Kareken & David Murrell and Gordon Farrell
November 7 - December 8, 2019

Based on a True-ish Story.
At a prestigious magazine publication, a determined, young employee is about to be given an opportunity. The demanding editor-in-chief is giving him a big assignment: she wants him to fact check a groundbreaking piece by an illustrious, albeit unorthodox author. As the deadline approaches and the lines between accuracy and artistic license blur, boundaries are crossed and the high-stakes world of publishing becomes personal in this brand new comedy of conflict.

"Smart...rib-bustingly funny!" - The Wall Street Journal

Ada and the Engine
Regional Premiere
by Lauren Gunderson
January 9 - February 9, 2020

Meet the Woman Who Changed Technology. Young and curious mathematician Ada Byron is caught between two worlds. Her mother is pushing for a prestigious marriage to Lord Lovelace, hoping to repair the damage Ada's father, the late Lord Byron, imposed on the family name. But Ada sees the creative potential in the analytic engines created by her elder friend and scholar Charles Babbage. As pressures mount and feelings grow, these two form a partnership that will change the course of the future.

"Intriguing...the story is pretty irresistible." - San Francisco Chronicle

The Children
Regional Premiere
by Lucy Kirkwood
March 12 - April 12, 2020
Tony Nominee for Best New Play

Where Do Your Loyalties Lie?
In a seaside cottage on the east coast of England, a pair of retired nuclear scientists are startled by the reappearance of a former colleague. As crackers and wine are trotted out, so are remembered stories, old jealousies, and haunting secrets, all leading to the true reason for this sudden visit: a chilling and dangerous plan. The evening will be revelatory and the fallout will be cataclysmic. Brave, humane, and beautifully written, this play confronts the responsibility each generation must face for the way it leaves the world.

"Excellent...both human and humane, keeps you guessing" - Chicago Tribune

Church & State
Regional Premiere
by Jason Odell Williams
May 7 - June 7, 2020

The Separation of What Now?
Three days before his bid for re-election, in the wake of another school shooting, a Republican U.S. Senator has a life-altering crisis of faith, and makes an off-the-cuff comment that sends the entire campaign into a tailspin. His wife and campaign manager try to contain the damage, but in a country where religion influences politics and politics have become a religion, how do you reach the people and stay true to yourself? A timely and fast-paced story that is simultaneously funny, heartbreaking, and uplifting.

"Crackling... enjoyable, thought-provoking, and humorous. I wish every member of Congress would see it!" -NPR

Into the Breeches!
Regional Premiere
by George Brant
July 2 - August 2, 2020

The Show Must Go On!
It's 1942, and there's a problem at Oberon Playhouse - with the director and leading men all off at war, it looks like the season will be canceled. That is until a determined and passionate group of ladies rally the troops at home and set out to put on an all-female production of Shakespeare's Henry V. An increasingly unexpected team is assembled, with a hilariously desperate array of thoughts and ideas, but united in desire. This delightful and moving backstage comedy examines the power of art to bring us together, even in the hardest of times.

"Brilliant...fresh, witty and thoughtful...a total triumph." - Montgomery Advertiser

Between Riverside and Crazy
Regional Premiere
by Stephen Adly-Guirgis
August 27 - September 27, 2020
Pulitzer Prize Winner

House of Black and Blue.
Irrepressible ex-cop and recent widower Walter Washington is under a lot of pressure. He's in an ongoing legal battle, clinging desperately to grievances from the past. Barely holding on to the palatial rent-controlled Manhattan apartment that he shares with his newly paroled son and a ragtag surrogate family who call him "Pops", he is not ready to accept payout or surrender. But as tensions come to a head in a swirl of demands from family and friends, a final ultimatum from former NYPD colleagues causes "Pops" to draw the line and make some demands of his own.

"Dizzying...both utterly believable and not to be believed for a second." - The New York Times

Visit Stage West:

Season tickets will go on sale May 31, and will range in price from $87 for a 3-show value pass to $180 for a premium 6-show pass.
For more information, call Stage West at (817) 784-9378. Tickets will be available by June 3 online at

821 W. Vickery St., Fort Worth, Texas 76104
Metro (817) 784 - 9378 (STG - WEST)