Signature Series: Silent Sky and Q and A with Lauren Gunderson

Friday, March 8, 2019
7:00 pm - 9:30 pm

Delve into the life of Henrietta Leavitt, a woman who charted the stars and made astronomical discoveries in a time when woman were not supposed to be developing their own scientific theories.  Read by Falcon Takes Flight, the outreach wing of Falcon Theater, “Silent Sky” recounts the true story of Harvard University’s living “computers” and one woman’s challenge striking a balance between love, family, and intellectual ambition.


After the reading, discuss the play with playwright, Lauren Gunderson, via video chat.


Lauren Gunderson is the most-produced living playwright in America for 2017. She is a playwright, screenwriter, and short story author from Atlanta, Georgia.  Her works include “Silent Sky”, “Ada and the Machine”, “The Revolutionists” and “Miss Bennett Christmas at Pemberley”


Image result for Henrietta Leavitt

When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, 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. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. The true story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt 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. 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 Earth.


This Signature Series Event is part of the Library’s STEAM Madness programming.  STEAM Madness is supported by the generosity of community contributions to the ArtsWave campaign.



Meeting Room:   Newport - Open Floor Main Level

Newport Branch

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