UNK Theatre presenting ‘Silent Sky,’ the story of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt

KEARNEY – University Theatre at Kearney will present Lauren Gunderson’s “Silent Sky” Wednesday through Sunday at the University of Nebraska at Kearney’s Miriam Drake Theatre.

Directed by UNK theater professor Janice Fronczak, “Silent Sky” is the inspiring true story of one woman’s dedication to the stars, and how it changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.

At the turn of the 20th century, Henrietta Leavitt, a gifted astronomer, had the opportunity to serve as a “human computer” at the Harvard College Observatory, measuring and cataloging the brightness of stars from photographic plates. Though she was eager to make her own astronomical discoveries, women of the day were not allowed access to the observatory’s telescope.

Undeterred, Leavitt began her own work recording changes in the stars based on the collection of plates she studied. This led her to astonishing scientific discoveries that had a profound and enduring impact on the field of astronomy.

The UNK production runs approximately two hours, including a 15-minute intermission. All seating is general admission. Face masks are strongly encouraged, but not required.

Following the opening performance, scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, there will be a panel discussion with Fronczak, Joel Berrier, an associate professor in the UNK Department of Physics, Astronomy and Engineering, and Linda Van Ingen, a professor and chair in the UNK Department of History.

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday (March 2-5) and 2 p.m. Sunday (March 6)

Where: UNK’s Miriam Drake Theatre

Cost: Tickets are $10 for adults; $8 for non-UNK students and seniors; $7 per person for groups of 10 or more; and free for UNK students with a valid ID.

Box office hours: Noon to 1:15 p.m. and 2:30-5 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; 12:30-5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays; noon to 5 p.m. Fridays; and one hour prior to each performance. For reservations, contact the UNK Theatre Box Office at 308-865-8417 or boxoffice@unk.edu.

Cast (listed by hometown)
Alliance – Darian Wilson, Henrietta Leavitt
Columbus – Britney Kouma, Margaret Leavitt
Ingalls, Kansas – Rheann Marie Rodenbur, Williamina Fleming
Lincoln – Megan Coffin, Annie Cannon
Riverdale – Steven Boldt, Peter Shaw

Student Artistic and Production Staff
Amherst – Danny Grimm, Stage Manager
Curtis – Mary Joyce Storm, Lighting Designer
Kearney – Lainey Schmeits, Assistant Stage Manager
North Platte – Maximus Wohler, Sound Designer/Composer

Faculty/Staff/Artistic Team
Janice Fronczak, Director
Del DeLorm, Scenic Designer
Julie Douglass, Costume Designer
Darin Himmerich, Technical Director/Properties