PITTSBURG — A haunting and hopeful tale of life, love, and the pursuit of passion based on the life of an historical figure will be presented Feb. 27 to March 1 in Pitt State Theatre’s production of “Silent Sky.”
In the early 1900s, Henrietta Leavitt worked with other female “computers” at the Harvard Observatory analyzing photographic plates to map the stars for a renowned astronomer. Leavitt soon learned that women were not allowed to touch a telescope or contribute to academic research, yet she would make an important scientific discovery: the consistent brightness of some stars help to precisely measure their distance from the Earth.
Although she received little recognition during her lifetime for her scientific work, she had a profound influence on the field of astronomy.
The play is written by Lauren Gunderson, who is credited as the most-produced living playwright in America three times in the past four seasons. In this show, she captures the awe and wonder of dreaming and exploration.
“Henrietta’s passion is astronomy, yet all humans have a desire to create, to know, or to experience,” said Director Megan Westhoff. “This play is for everyone who understands the need to fulfill their desires but struggles with the complications in everyday life.”
The cast features Hunter Adamson as Henrietta Leavitt, Kathryn Huffman as her sister Margaret, Noah Smith as Peter Shaw, McKenzie VanMeerhaeghe as Annie Cannon, and Bella L’Heureux as Williamina Fleming.
The production staff includes Linden Little, scenic and lighting designer, Lisa Quinteros, costume designer, and Josh Ramsey and Cooper Dammrich, production dramaturgs.
“’Silent Sky’ presents a unique acting and technical challenge because although the play is set in a historical period of the early 1900s, the script is written in a contemporary narrative, where time and location move quickly and the events unfold in a mix of reality and dreams,” said Westhoff.
Pitt State Theatre is continuing to partner with Safehouse Crisis Center for the season. For this production, the company is collecting shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, and toilet paper.
“Theater audiences are eager to support the Pittsburg community and we are appreciative of the donations that will be collected during the performances,” said Westhoff.
“Silent Sky” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 27-29 and at 2 p.m. Feb. 29-March 1 in the Miller Theatre in the Bicknell Family Center for the Arts, 1711 S. Homer.
Tickets are $12 for the general public, $7 for under 17 or over 64, and are free to PSU students/faculty/staff with a valid PSU photo ID.
Tickets may be purchased at the PSU Ticket Office, Room 137 in the Garfield Weede Building, by calling 620-235-4796, at www.pittstate.edu/tickets, or at the door approximately 30 minutes prior to curtain based on availability. Advance tickets to guarantee a seat are strongly encouraged, as seating is limited.