A story of empowerment, discovery and asking questions, “Silent Sky” opens Friday on the Jones Theatre stage in Pullman.
The show tells the story of Henrietta Swan Leavitt, who began computing data at Harvard Observatory in 1893. Although she and her fellow female computers were not allowed to use the telescope and discouraged to theorize in their work, Leavitt made a discovery that allowed astronomers to measure distances through space for the first time.
But “Silent Sky” is more than just a “Hidden Figures”-type story that reveals how women were involved in and contributed to the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, which have historically been dominated by men.
“It tells her journey as a scientist, but also of her humanity,” said director Mary Trotter.
In the show, Leavitt has to juggle her professional dreams with family obligations and the possibility of love. As she questions her focus in life, she considers the possible results.
“We see her get scientific answers, but she doesn’t get answers to the life questions,” Trotter said.
The family-friendly show will run through WSU’s Mom’s Weekend and picks up themes that are relevant to people of all ages, interests and backgrounds.
“Anyone can relate to having desires, having questions and wanting answers,” Trotter said.
“Silent Sky” is the final production of WSU’s Performing Arts program; its termination at the end of the season was announced last fall.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: ‘Silent Sky’
WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and April 6-7, 2 p.m. Saturday and April 7
WHERE: Jones Theatre in Daggy Hall, Washington State University campus, Pullman
COST: $10/person, $8 seniors (ages 60 and older), students and youth and $6/person for groups of eight or more. Admission to the March 31 showing is free, sponsored by the WSU College of Arts and Sciences. Advance tickets are available at TicketsWest.com, (800) 325-SEAT and in person at WSU’s Beasley Coliseum ticket office and at Rosauers in Lewiston.