'Silent Sky' Showcases the True Story of an Overlooked 20th-century Female Astronomer

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Friday, April 12th, 2024

 Beginning on April 11, the Georgia Southern University Armstrong Masquers will present their first main stage show this year with a three-day run of “Silent Sky.” 

Written by playwright Lauren Gunderson, the semi-fictionalized story follows astronomy research assistant Henrietta Leavitt, who works at the Harvard College Observatory in the early 1900s, where she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories. In her free time, Henrietta attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, while also measuring her life on Earth as she tries to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. 

“‘Silent Sky’ is a beautiful, rich story that shines a light on often-overlooked contributions by women in history, especially in the field of science,” said “Silent Sky” director and theatre professor Courtney Grile, Ph.D. “It also invites us to reflect on the vastness of the universe, our understanding of it and our beliefs about what is beyond.” 

Freshman theatre major Sarah Whitney, who takes on the role of Henrietta, appreciates the topical themes of the play.

“One thing I truly admire about ‘Silent Sky’ is how it showcases the timelessness of female friendship and the marvels that are possible when women are encouraged to explore their passions and curiosities,” she noted.

What: “Silent Sky”

Where: Jenkins Hall Theatre on Georgia Southern’s Armstrong Campus in Savannah

When: April 11-12 at 7:30 p.m. and April 13 at 3:00 p.m.

Price: $12 for general admission (discounts for military, seniors and children are available)

*Free admission for Georgia Southern students, faculty and staff

Tickets can be purchased by calling 912-344-2801, visiting the Fine Arts Box Office website or by visiting the Fine Arts Box Office, located in Fine Arts Hall, weekdays between noon and 3:00 p.m.