Frau Ada denkt Unerhörtes (UA)
She is certainly one of the most colourful among those characters who were born in the wrong era: Ada Lovelace, who is today regarded as a visionary of the digital age. Her mother feared that the destructive, dark romanticism of her father, Lord Byron, could assert itself in her and thus encouraged her to study mathematics.
Lovelace studied designs for a steam-powered computing machine, created by mathematician Charles Babbage, and realised that such a machine could be able to do more than calculate – that it could represent language, too, and even music. With this discovery, she laid conceptual foundations for the multi-media world that we live in today.
At the same time, she represents a society that systematically prevented women from reaching their potential. She was never able to publish under her own name and had no access to scientific libraries.
Martina Clavadetscher recounts the short life of Ada Lovelace, who died in 1852 at the age of 36, in the form of a feverish dream between fantastically visionary thought, fragile physicality and social constraints. Ada develops ideas of flying machines and perfect mechanical puppets. Even on her death-bed, she was engaged in thoughts of an optimised body, one that could not be harmed by illness.
Then there is a leap in time, to a research lab in our present. Three ambitious scientists are working on an artificial intelligence. Gradually, the robot develops a mind of its own, calls itself Ada and becomes swept up in an ever more radical loop of self-optimisation.
“Frau Ada denkt Unerhörtes” is the first text by Swiss author Martina Clavadetscher to be premiered at Schauspiel Leipzig. In 2013/14, she was Dramatist in Residence at the Lucerne theatre. In 2016, her play “Umständliche Rettung” received the Essen Authors’ Award and was nominated for Heidelberger Stückemarkt. Her novel “Knochenlieder” received the award of the Curt Dienemann-Foundation in 2016 and was nominated for the 2017 Swiss Book Award.
Director Katrin Plötner studied theatre directing at the Mozarteum University Salzburg. Her diploma production “Angriffe auf Anne” was invited to the 2011 European festival for young directing “Fast Forward”. Plötner has been staging productions at numerous theatres, including Munich’s Residenztheater, Staatstheater Darmstadt and Schauspiel Frankfurt. “Frau Ada denkt Unerhörtes” is her first production at Schauspiel Leipzig.