Starting 3/22/19, 7:30:00 pm: Shakespeare in Love + Ada and the Memory Engine

Lisa Kelly

About Me…

I have an undergraduate degree in theatre, an MFA in directing and theatre pedagogy, and will soon (hopefully) finish a PhD in Theatre History. My research focuses on the social and political engagement and activism of 19th century British actresses. I have worked as a director, stage manager, and dramaturg in regional and university theatres in New Jersey, North Carolina, Virginia, and Chicago. I have worked with TCR since 2015 first as backstage crew, then as a stage manager for Grandon shows, a dramaturg, an assistant director for Annie, Billy Elliot, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and as a New Play Festival director. When I’m not at the theatre I work at the University of Iowa in the Office of Academic Support & Retention, where I run campus tutoring programs and help students find academic success.


I am a collaborative director. I like to spend a lot of time exploring ideas in the rehearsal room and encouraging everyone to take risks and think creatively. The best insights into a play or into character often come from trying something totally different or unexpected. We spend time talking about character and context throughout the rehearsal process while working on scenes. It’s important to me that rehearsals are productive, but also a lot of fun.

Thoughts on Ada and the Memory Engine…

Ada and the Memory Engine is a story about an independent woman who loves music and math and envisions a world in which the two are intertwined. She breaks through traditional gender roles of her time and creates pathways for future female mathematicians. I love working on historical-based plays with strong female characters and plays like this one that blend intelligence and wit. I am looking forward to collaborating with designers and the cast to create Ada’s world and to introduce Ada’s story to our audiences.