Holton Community Theatre to present "Silent Sky"

The true story of female astronomer Henrietta Leavitt and the challenges she overcame in the early 1900s is being told in Holton Community Theatre’s fall production of “Silent Sky.”

“She was one of the first women astronomers, and she was the first to realize that you can measure how far or close a star is based on how bright they are and how they blink,” HCT director Shannon Wittmer said of Leavitt.  

Written by Lauren Gunderson, “Silent Sky” is a two-act dramatic play that will be performed the next two weekends at the theatre, which is located at 401 New Jersey Ave.

A dinner theatre will be held at 6:30 p.m. on both Saturday, Oct. 14 and Oct. 21. Matinee performances will be held at 2 p.m. on both Sunday, Oct. 15 and Oct. 22. 

Tickets are $35 for the dinner theatre performance and $15 for the matinees and can be purchased at the HCT website at www.holtoncommunitytheatre.org

The dinner theatre performances will be catered by Cindy Stavropoulos at Trails Café and Café Catering. 

The menu includes chicken parmesan over alfredo sauce with noodles, Italian salad and breadsticks. 

A variety of desserts and a signature drink will also be available for purchase at every dinner show and matinee. Other concession items will also be available for purchase.

The play begins with Leavitt, played by Carrie Holliday, preparing to leave her home in Wisconsin to work at the Harvard Observatory as a “computer.” The “computers” were a group of women who conducted important astronomy research by studying photograph plates of the sky and cataloging the characteristics of stars.

“She’s not allowed to use a large refractor telescope at the observatory because she is a woman,” Wittmer said. 

In the play, 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.” 

Her discoveries in astronomy eventually helped Edwin Hubble measure galaxies and create the Hubble Telescope. She died of stomach cancer three years before she was eligible to be nominated for the Nobel Prize.

“She was not OK with the treatment of women, and she was constantly questioning it,” Wittmer said. 

“Silent Sky” cast members include Carrie Holliday (Henrietta Leavitt), Marla Wiens (Williamina Fleming), Karen Williams (Annie Cannon), Brenda Harter (Margaret Leavitt) and Jayme Green (Peter Shaw).

“It’s a very simple story, but I love how it promotes women,” Wittmer said. 

For more information about the performances, visit www.holtoncommunitytheatre.org

The Holton Recorder

109 W. Fourth St.
Holton, KS 66436
Phone: 785-364-3141
 

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