Silent Sky

may 31 - jun 16, 2019
Performance Times:
7:30 PM Wednesday through Saturday; 2:00 PM Sunday

They set their sights on the stars and changed science forever.

Lauren Gunderson’s 2015 play centers around the untold stories of female astronomers through the eyes of a real scientist Henrietta Leavitt, a female “computer” at Harvard College Observatory.

Leavitt is joined by her capable co-workers at the observatory, Annie Cannon and Williamina Fleming, who were restricted from the equipment used by the males. The women were required to settle in a cramped workroom, computing and cataloging distant stars and galaxies founded by male astronomers.

This true story of the 19th-century astronomers, “Silent Sky” 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. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications.


Mainstage Content Advisory: The Playhouse does not rate subject matter as sensitivities vary from person to person. If you have questions about content, age appropriateness, or other aspects of the show (ie strobe lights and other theatrical effects), please contact the ticket office at 515-277-6261.

The performance at 2:00 PM on Sunday, June 9 will have live audio description, provided by IRIS. Please contact our ticket office at 515-277-6261 if you would like to use this free service.

Henrietta Leavitt
Shelby Jensen
Margaret Leavitt
Emma Norman
Peter Shaw
Bobby Nalean
Annie Cannon
Laura Sparks
Williamina Fleming
Jen Green
Judy Hart