Henrietta Leavitt’s legacy takes center stage in Reading Theater Project’s ‘Silent Sky’

Play about women in science and society opens the Season of Wonder.

The Reading Theater Project has announced the first play of the Season of Wonder: Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson. Highly theatrical and beautifully told, Silent Sky is the true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt.

The play explores the idea that social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and our lives on Earth.

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The cast features Meegan Gagnon as Henrietta Leavitt; Griffin Yeyna as astronomer Peter Shaw; Jane Ney as astronomer Annie Cannon, and Aileen Lynch-McCulloch as astronomer Williamina Fleming. The production team includes: Andrea Kennedy Hart, director and set designer; Margaux Gagnon, stage manager; Kathie Kustudich, props designer; Charles Troxel, lighting designer; Vicki Haller Graff, costume designer; Jody Reppert, technical support. Chris Heslop will compose new music to be performed by percussionist Tarrah Bilto.

One significant change from previous years: evening showtime is at 7:30pm. All productions this season, as with last year’s, will follow the Pay What You Will ticket pricing model: an audience member can choose their own price for a ticket, including $0. We recommend $20 for this production, and encourage those who are able to pay the $40 Pay It Forward price. This ticket pricing model is part of the Theater for All initiative to make theater more accessible to all audiences.

The production opens Thursday, November 2, 2023 and runs for one weekend only at the Yocum Institute’s Schumo Theater, 3000 Penn Ave., West Lawn, Pennsylvania. Tickets are available online or by calling 484-706-9719. More information can be found at: ReadingTheaterProject.org/Silent-Sky/

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This production is the first in Reading Theater Project’s current season, Wonder. Audiences can look forward to the annual 5-Minute Fringe Festival in February 2024, also at the Yocum Institute, the Play Reading Series in April and May 2024 produced at and in partnership with GoggleWorks’ Boscov Theatre, and In Nature’s Studio in July 2024 on the grounds of the Reading Public Museum. As always, Reading Reading on BCTV airs new episodes on the third Tuesday of odd months; the next episode is Tuesday, November 21, 6:30pm.

Reading Theater Project received funding from EnerSys, the Reading Musical Foundation, and Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, a state agency funded by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, administered through Berks Arts.

The Reading Theater Project is a locally-focused theater company, based in Reading/Berks County, PA, valuing collaboration and creative challenges believing theater is an inclusive experience that can reveal our shared human condition. For more information, visit readingtheaterproject.org or call 484-706-9719.

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Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly
Berks Weekly is an independent and locally owned digital newspaper covering the City of Reading and Berks County. Subscribe today: berksweekly.com/subscribe
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