BWW Previews: SILENT SKY IS STORY OF FEMALE ASTRONOMERS at American Stage

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BWW Previews: SILENT SKY IS STORY OF FEMALE ASTRONOMERS at American Stage
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 http://americanstage.org/SILENTSKY.



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From This Author Deborah Bostock-Kelley