Silent Sky

On stage Nov 2-11, 2018

Written by Lauren Gunderson.

Directed by Heather Akers // Assistant Director: Hannah Spina 

Heather says: "I fell head over heels in love with this script and knew immediately that I had to direct it and Richie had to design it.  It is a really great fit for our space.  I love, love a good historical fiction book.  I read them all of the time and I think that might be one of the many reasons I love this script.  I also went to Space Camp in the 80s and have been obsessed with all things space and astronomical since I was little and made my parents cart my little red beginner telescope down the street to the Coldwell Banker building so I could view a lunar eclipse from their parking lot. AND the central character and I almost share a birthday. This story is about Henrietta Leavitt, an astronomer at Harvard College Observatory in the beginning of the 20thcentury.  She was a “computer”.  The female computers there couldn’t use the refracting telescope.  They had to rely on glass plates instead.  She established a system that helps astronomers measure stellar distances.  Don’t fret though, this story has more to do with Henrietta as a person than period-luminosity.  It’s about the balance between ambition and relationships (work-life balance even).  Love and discovery and accomplishment.  There’s also some magic scripted (the story is about stars) and I cannot wait to see what Richie does to make that happen.  I don’t like to pick favorites but the science-obsessed middle-schooler in my soul is jumping up and down about this one.  (So is the all-business Heather version of me.)"

The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.

120 minutes, one intermission

What they are saying...

“…sheer magic [is] in Lauren Gunderson’s SILENT SKY…Gunderson [writes] economically and with bursts of smart, infectious humor.”
—San Francisco Chronicle.

“…SILENT SKY could act as a simple reminder of what a pleasant, thought-provoking evening at the theater ought to look like. It’s a lively, funny, accessible play that’s alive with interesting ideas.”

“[SILENT SKY] is a startling, entertaining true story of a brilliant, history-making woman—hitherto unknown to many of us.”

“Lauren Gunderson’s luminously beautiful play SILENT SKY is an intellectual epic told on an intimate scale. Bottom line: Heavenly.” —Atlanta Journal-Constitution.


  • Henrietta Leavitt -- Claire Boston
  • Margaret Leavitt -- Amber Mussman
  • Peter Shaw -- Kyle Shedeck
  • Annie Cannon -- Lynne Rothrock
  • Williamina Fleming -- Jen Boettger

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