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USD Theatre Department Hosts Four Person Play

The USD theatre department will be showing the play called “Ada and the Engine” on Oct. 19 through the 22 in the Arena theater.

The play follows a young woman named Ada Byron who is the daughter of the scandalous Lord Byron. Through the industrial revolution, she meets inventor Charles Babbage, who is the creator of the first mechanical computer.

The cast consists of four actors playing six different characters and is directed by graduate student Dan Spiropoulos.

Spiropoulos said the production is going well and he is impressed with his staff.

“They’re doing actually really well. I’m very impressed with a lot of them,” Spiropoulos said. “Our lead, Ada, is actually a freshman, and so she is doing very well in that role. It’s a lot to take on.”

So far the production is on schedule for the upcoming date. According to Spiropoulos, the biggest issue seems to be time constraints, which he states is a common struggle for most productions. 

“Not gonna lie, I’m still a little nervous, but overall I think it will go well once we add all of the technical elements,” Spiropoulos said. “I will feel better taking hands off and just letting the actors go and letting them do the show.”

“Ada and the Engine” will be performed in the Arena theater, as opposed to the usual Knudson Theater. This will be a more intimate experience for both the actors and the audience as it is a smaller space. 

Spiropoulos said the journey with the team has been better than even himself could have expected. 

“All of them have exceeded expectations,” Spiropoulos said. “It’s been a phenomenal ride to see this journey and see the actors progress from auditions to where we are today.”

Ada Byron is inspired by the real life person of the same name. Laura Gunderson, the playwright of “Ada and the Engine,” commonly uses real life people in a historical context. 

Spiropoulos said he never knew anything about Ada Byron but wanted their story to be told. 

“They were all real people. I personally never knew anything about Ada until I read the play, so it opened up a world of discovery for me,” Spiropoulos said. “At least in my field I never knew anything about it, so I wanted the story to be told.”

The performance will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 19-21 and on Oct. 22 at 2 p.m. for a matinee show. 

Spiropoulos said he thinks the show is going to do well for people who want an immersive experience with the theater. 

“I think it’s going to be a really good show especially if people want a more immersive experience at the theater,” Spiropoulos said.