Silent Sky, a play by Lauren Gunderson about pioneering American women astronomers, will be performed via Zoom by Elizabethtown College Theatre on April 23 & 24, 2020 at 8 p.m. and on April 25 & 26, 2020 at 2 p.m.

All actors will be in their homes, but the play’s locations and views of the night sky will be visible.  There will be no movement by the actors, but the entire script will be performed.

Visit www.etown.edu/theatre for access to the show or email boxoffice@etown.edu.

These Zoom performances have been approved by Ms. Gunderson and the play’s publisher, Dramatists Play Service.

Silent Sky is directed by Michael Swanson, director of theatre and associate professor of theatre at Elizabethtown College.  Scenic design is by graduating senior theatre major Tasha Lewis; scenic projections are designed by Richard Wolf-Spencer, resident designer and associate professor of theatre.  Members of the cast include Elizabethtown resident and theatre major Erin Vago as Henrietta’s sister Margaret.

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ELIZABETHTOWN, Pa. – Students in the Elizabethtown College Theatre Program will perform a production of Lauren Gunderson’s cutting-edge play, Silent Sky.

This April, a cast of Elizabethtown College students will put on a production of Silent Sky in the Tempest Theatre, located within the Baugher Student Center. This will be the final Elizabethtown College Theatre production directed by Director of Theatre and Dance and Associate Professor of Theatre, Michael Swanson.


Silent Sky tells the story of Henrietta Leavitt, who worked as a “computer” for the men running the Harvard Astronomical Laboratory in the early 1900s. Though women were forbidden to access astronomical technology, Henrietta’s dedication led her to the discovery of the connection between a star’s brightness, its rotational period, and its distance from Earth.

This play 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. It is a story of determination amidst the struggles of both social and scientific progress that challenges the traditional roles of women of that era.

Director Michael Swanson explains, “Henrietta expands the universe; she expands our take on it, expands our perceptions and our knowledge of it, which I also think will shape our poetic, metaphoric imagery of it.”

“I hope our audience will appreciate the story,” said Swanson. “I hope they will appreciate the acting and design as well.”