Above: There sits the stage where Silent Sky is performed. Silent Sky has taken place outside in years previous. (Brandon Hollis/Staff photographer)

By: Lilia Bowman-Bekemeyer
Staff reporter

Silent Sky, a show covering the life of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt in 1900, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 18 through Sept. 20 at the May Fete Stage, just east of the library. Leavitt is played by Elizabeth Santana, theatre performance arts junior.

This stage is different than most in theatre. Show goers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or a blanket to sit on, and to maintain a distance from other audience members.

Allyson Moon, the director of the theatre program, said that the show covers Henrietta Leavitt and other women like Annie Cannon, who was a Suffragette. Moon described the show as funny, romantic, and bold.

Although the story covers Leavitt’s professional life, Moon says they decided to also focus on the home life of Leavitt.

Leavitt is described by Moon as a “serious yet personable individual”. In the show, Leavitt’s research makes a breakthrough, and the story tells the audience about how Leavitt stood up to those in charge because she needed to prove that she was right.

Santana expects the show to go well, even though there have been some set-backs. There have been many rehearsals without people that need to be there. Three cast members had to quarantine, and one of the actors had to quit because of a leg injury.

Kenny Allman, performance facilities and technical director, said the show had to be moved outdoors when it was originally set to be indoors. It has put Allman and the students he works with under stress as they had to figure out how to power everything outdoors.

Allman said the power is run through generators, and he and his students work to build sets and design while also keeping in mind there is a pandemic going on.

Allman and students have to work, but also limit the amount of people in the shop to limit the exposure.

Moon says she hopes the audience embraces Leavitt’s passion for astronomy, and that viewers should be ready to finish the play with a canopy of the night sky.