The SPHS Fall Play, Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky, will be performed Thursday through Saturday, November 8-10 at 7pm, Auditorium Theater. Silent Sky, much like the movie “Hidden Figures,” shines a light on the women who made critical, groundbreaking contributions to our understanding of space with both warmth and humor.
Tickets are $8 for students, $12 for adults, I.T.S. Honored. Disabled and preferred seating are available.
Silent Sky tells the true story of Henrietta Leavitt, the wearer of an early hearing device, an astronomer ahead of her time. It is 1900, and Henrietta has the opportunity to work at Harvard University as a human computer, mapping the stars but receiving no scientific credit. When Henrietta arrives, she is eager to use Harvard’s telescope – the Great Refractor – but is told she will not be able to do any sort of astronomical discovery as she will only log the stars photographed by the men of the department.
Henrietta will not be dissuaded and begins the process of recording the changes in Cepheid stars–a scientific discovery that has profound and lasting impact on the field of astronomy. During her obsession to solve the mystery of the stars, Henrietta’s relationships strain with her sister Margaret, her love interest Peter Shaw, and her real-life gifted colleagues Annie Cannon and Williamina Fleming. Silent Sky is a woman’s poignant dedication to the stars, and the human touch that makes life under the vast sky beautiful and timeless.
The industrial style two-level set for Silent Sky designed by Scott Durspek highlights the vast importance of space and passage of time within this moving play. The real-life character of Henrietta Leavitt is played perfectly with both her sense of wonder and strength by junior Madison Nielsen in her first lead role at SPHS. IB senior Dominika Dzurny returns to the stage as Williamina Fleming, a Scottish firebrand of energy. Alexandra Leavitt is perfect as Annie Cannon, a strong and independent woman who joins the fight for women’s rights. IB sophomore Lindsay Weidenfeller shines as the endearing and motherly sister Margaret who shares a special bond with Henrietta.
The role of the awkward but endearing Peter Shaw is played wonderfully by IB senior Connor Mikuta. Senior Student Director Kayla Schleich has been very dedicated assisting wherever needed. Tech Directors Alec Pent and Leah Colon, as well as Stage Manager Katrina Ottaviani and their crews have done a great job transforming the stage into an observatory, a warm home and a romantic ship deck.