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HSU Theater’s Tribute to The Famous Women Who Measured The Stars By: Alex Guillory

This week the Hardin-Simmons University Department of Theatre will perform “Silent Sky," written by Lauren Gunderson. It will be the first non-comedic mainstage play to step foot on the HSU theater’s stage since “An Interview With An Air Pump,” in the fall of 2020.

The play is based on three historically renowned women. The play stars Emily Johns, a senior musical theater major from Wylie, as Henrietta Leavitt. She was one of the pioneering women who worked at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s.

Johns will be performing alongside Faith Holbert, a junior theater education major from Quanah and Samantha Gade, a junior musical theater major from Austin. Holbert and Gade who will be portraying Annie Cannon and Williamina Fleming, respectively. These three women will tell the story of how feminism and science found the perfect intersection during the late nights under the stars in the Harvard Observatory.

The three women are in charge of charting the stars and acting as computers for the male scientists.

They were forced into lower-paying and monotonous jobs during the day, but they found a way to study the stars for themselves at night. These women exude passion and the chase for more knowledge.

“The play is a different look into the history of the male-dominated field of science,” Holbert said. “This show proves that feminism has played a vital role in history and scientific advancements. It is an emotionally moving play that has everyone, including the cast and crew, in tears once the curtains come to a close.”

The opening night will be Nov. 17 at 7:30 p.m., with the following shows being on Nov. 18 and 19 at 7:30 p.m. and the matinee performance on Nov. 20 at 2:00 p.m.


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