The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

The student news site of Marquette University

Marquette Wire

Silent Sky tells the story of one of America’s female influencers

Marquette’s play Silent Sky will be available to stream from March 12 to March 21 for $12. The play focuses on the real story of Henrietta Leavitt, an aspiring astronomer who worked for Harvard in the early 20th Century and made a discovery that led us to believe we are not the only galaxy.

Silent Sky was one of many female empowered plays, as Stephen Hudson-Mairet, chair of digital media and performing arts and scenic designer for the play explained, each play was selected for this year were meant to “highlight women.” Silent Sky, along with Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Antigone, were all part of these females written or female led plays.

Ben Lash, a junior in the College of Communication and the assistant director for Silent Sky, said the women-focused theme is “fantastic.”

“The theater industry in general, Broadway or otherwise, it is such a male dominated industry, with all these historic male playwrights … completely historically dominating the theater scene. To incorporate a lot more pieces by female playwrights with female leads,” Lash said.

Lash also said Marquette’s current theater company is predominantly female and appreciates that plays have been focusing not just on men from the male perspective.

Emma Knott, a third-year student in the College of Communication played the lead, Henrietta Leavitt. Knott said she enjoyed the overall theme.

“I know so many girls that I think are so awesome and so talented in so many different areas; In areas of design, and all that stuff, and so many female writers that are so awesome.” She felt that the theme was a “beautiful celebration of all that,” Knott said. “It was a really cool year to see all the different types of characters that women can play, because I think a lot of times we’re grouped into a love story or something like that and this was definitely more dimensional.”

Knott said she also enjoys the different character’s roles and what they mean.

“To see everyone’s different types of characters in different roles that could be played, especially in Silent Sky, because there’s (characters) like Annie Cannon and Williamina, and those are both two very different people who do incredible things; Each one of them. Margie is Henrietta’s sister and she’s a mother and it celebrates that as well. And then Henrietta, it also celebrates her discovery,” Knott said. “So, I think this (play) was able to encompass more of what it means to be every different type of woman, not just a one-dimensional person.”

Lash also said that this play is great for sharing the true story of Henrietta Leavitt and emphasizing Women’s History Month.

“I think this piece is perfect in that it talks about Henrietta Leavitt, who was actually a very real person. The fact that she has not made all the history books and (she doesn’t) have critical acclaim as a person, prior to this piece actually being written and being popularized, the fact that we are able to show the story of Henrietta Leavitt and how she contributed to how we understand the universe with her discoveries in figuring out where we are in the universe today, I think that’s a perfect way to accelerate Women’s History Month,” Lash said.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated the play was available to stream from March 12-27. The story has been updated to correctly state the play is available to stream March 12-21. The Wire regrets this error. 

This story was written by Karsyn Hartsfield. She can be reached [email protected].

Story continues below advertisement
Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor

Comments (0)

All Marquette Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *