Childe Byron

Jennifer Summerfield as Ada Lovelace

Jennifer Summerfield as Ada Lovelace, photo Kyle Cassidy

The Allens Lane Theater in Philadelphia, PA, is putting on Romulus Linney’s play, Childe Byron, about Ada Lovelace and her relationship to the father she never knew, Lord Byron.

As her own end draws near, Ada Byron Lovelace is seized with a desire to know more about her profligate father.  Stimulated by the drugs she takes for her illness, Ada summons Lord Byron to life and, in sharp, sarcastic exchanges, probes into the truth behind the myth. The life and art of Byron unfold and in the end the private man, the public figure and the protean poet are reconciled, while Ada, a genius in her own right, finds peace with herself and the father she never knew.

In this video, actress Jennifer Summerfield discusses the challenges of bringing Ada to the stage.

Jennifer, who is also known as Trillian Stars, told the Geekadelphia blog:

I love having the opportunity to play a woman whose life is so well documented; usually an actor’s homework involves coming up with your own character history, limited only by imagination. With Ada, however, I’ve had an amazing journey through the 19th Century, reading her letters and the letters of her father, Lord Byron, as well as Byron’s poetry. She was a fantastically complex person and is extremely difficult to portray with complete justice, because there were so many contradictions in her personality… both a woman of her time and ahead of it, poetic but scientific, cold yet emotional… and she often contradicted herself from one letter to another, making it difficult to pin her down and determine motivations.

A challenge like Ada is enough to draw me as an actor; there’s a need to get inside her head and look around, find the solution to this wonderful, complicated woman, just as Ada tries to discover the solution to her father, Lord Byron, in the play.

If you’re in the Philadelpha area, get your tickets and go along to one of the last two performances.

Childe Byron
Written by Romulus Linney
Directed by Ellen Wilson Dilks
Remaining dates: Oct. 12, 13
Run Time: 1hr 50min with intermission

Posted in Ada Lovelace Day 2012.

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