Student Blog: Post-Grad Limbo
Photo by @JoeyClayStudio

During the holiday season, Lauren Gunderson's Silent Sky opens at American Stage on November 20 through December 22.

Sometimes described as the Hidden Figures of astronomy, like Katherine Johnson in the 2017 movie, Henrietta Leavitt received little credit for her discovery.

At her employment at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, Henrietta is forbidden from touching a telescope or expressing an opinion. Instead, she joins a group of women "computers," charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in "girl hours."

After reading the script, director Kristin Clippard was thrilled to bring the story to life.

"I was very excited that Lauren had decided to highlight a woman who had not been given recognition for her extraordinary accomplishment but that she had also done it in a way that was so magical, exciting, and beautiful.

"I love that this is a show rooted in history, based on real people and real events, but I'm not interested in reproducing an exact replica of those people and those times. I want to heighten it and reflect who they were to modern audiences, embracing the romance, leaning into the fact that stargazing encourages soul-searching. The romance and inspiration that we get from star-gazing is my inspiration."

Silent Sky combines newcomer Susan Maris (Henrietta Leavitt) with four American Stage alumni with Benjamin T. Ismail (Peter Shaw), Vickie Daignault (Annie), Kate Berg (Margaret Leavitt), and Karel K. Wright (Williamina Fleming).

"I think there's a real pioneering spirit in Henrietta Leavitt that will appeal to a lot of people who have the desire to know and ask questions to understand what's out there."

When asked to describe the performance in three words, Kristin reiterated her earlier statement,
"Magical, romantic, and inspiring."

Silent Sky is at American Stage, 163 3rd Street North, St. Petersburg, November 20 through December 22. preview on Nov. 20, patrons can "Pay What You Can" at the door or $20 in advance, Thursday Preview, Nov. 21 is $30, Wednesday and Thursday Evenings & Saturday and Sunday Matinees are $44, Friday/Saturday Evenings are $50/54, and Opening Night, Nov. 22 (includes pre-show and post-show reception) is $70. Learn more at

RELATED STORIES - Tampa/St. Petersburg

Student Blog: Benefits of Maintaining Academic Integrity

With the ability to auto-generate essays and access Google, Sparknotes, and Photomath, it is easy to abuse the moral code of academic integrity. But while these online sources may make completing homework “easier,” using them does not produce the same profitable outcome as manually doing one's homework.

Student Blog: Post-Grad Limbo

My first year of college is over and for some reason, nothing seems to have changed. I’m still lost on where my life is going, let alone where the next year is going, and I still feel like I’m just laying in post-high school degree limbo. I’m still trying to find the right school and I’m still trying to accept the change that was solidified when I moved my tassel.

Review: JAGGED LITTLE PILL at Straz Center

What did our critic think of JAFrom the outside looking in, the Healeys are seemingly the Gold Standard flawless upper-middle-class family living in the Connecticut suburbs. JAGGED LITTLE PILL begins with the mom writing the annual holiday Christmas newsletter bragging about her husband's job and her beloved Harvard-bound son. From the inside looking out, just beneath the surface, they are a family imploding, struggling. GGED LITTLE PILL at Straz Center?


OUR SOLE PURPOSE is the invention of twenty-six-year-old Ashlyn, a prolific tap dancer, owner of Tampa Bay Taps for six years, and an instructor at Straz' Patel Conservatory. The Rhythm and Sole Tap Ensemble, Tampa native band NIGHTBREAKERS, and the Youth Tap Crew will band together to explore the meaning of dance, music, and life.

From This Author - Deborah Bostock-Kelley

A twice-published author, multi-time award-winning playwright, magazine writer, theatre reviewer, and newspaper journalist with 30+ years in journalism and business copywriting, Deb was a 2022 Recipie... (read more about this author)


#repshow# in[i]# The Sound of Music
Carrollwood Players Theatre (6/02-6/24)
#repshow# in[i]# Monty Python's Spamalot
Carrollwood Cultural Center (7/21-7/30)CAST
#repshow# in[i]# Lizzie: The Musical
Straz Center for the Performing Arts (7/12-8/06)
#repshow# in[i]# The Great American Trailer Park Muscial
Stageworks Theatre (6/09-6/25)
#repshow# in[i]# Comedy of Tenors
Florida Studio Theatre (8/02-8/20)
#repshow# in[i]# The Prom
MAD Theatre of Tampa (7/14-7/22)
#repshow# in[i]# Jobsite Theater's ALICE
Straz Center for the Performing Arts (5/10-6/04)
#repshow# in[i]# Lessons for an incomplete black boy
The Fringe Theatre (6/23-6/25)
#repshow# in[i]# All My Sons by Arthur Miller
USF Theatre Centre TAR 120 (6/01-6/18)
#repshow# in[i]# Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992
Straz Center for the Performing Arts (8/16-8/27)

Recommended For You