• Woman reaching for moon at dusk. Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson, Oct. 17-27 at Marlene Boll Theatre.

Silent Sky

written by Lauren Gunderson | directed by Sarah Hawkins

Sparking Your Thoughts

The fascinating story of 19th-century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, a woman “computer” living in an age when women could neither vote nor express an original idea. Despite not being allowed to touch a telescope, Leavitt and her colleagues at the Harvard Observatory made ground-breaking discoveries about the universe that remain vital over a century later. Through fierce sisterly love, early feminism and universe-revealing science this beautiful play reveals how a group of extraordinary women changed the way we understand both the heavens and the Earth.

Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday

Oct. 17 @ 7:30 pm

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Oct. 18 @ 7:30 pm

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Oct. 19 @ 7:30 pm

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Oct. 20 @ 3:00 pm

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Oct. 24 @ 7:30 pm

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Oct. 25 @ 7:30 pm

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Oct. 26 @ 7:30 pm

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Oct. 27 @ 3:00 pm

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Events and Special Engagements:

Oct. 17 | Detroit Mercy Night: An exclusive evening for all Detroit Mercy faculty staff, alumni and students: All tickets are $15, and student tickets are $5 with student I.D.

Oct. 18 | Women of the Universe - Part 1: Participate in a discussion with Detroit Mercy’s Women and Gender Studies Program exploring first-wave feminism and its social impact.

Oct. 19 | Cast Party: Celebrate opening weekend and the first mainstage production of Season 49 after this performance with the cast and crew.

Oct. 20 | Anatomy of a Play: Visit with the director, creative team and cast about the production and all of the ins and outs of bringing this play to life.

Oct. 24 | Second Thursday: $5 tickets for students with student I.D.

Oct. 25 | Women of the Universe - Part 2: Professors from Detroit Mercy’s College of Engineering & Science deepen our understanding of Henrietta Leavitt’s contributions.

Oct. 26 | Community Night: Tickets are only $15.

FALL SYMPOSIUM |  Thursday, Oct. 17 at 5:15 p.m. 

Scientists from various cultures, races and identities share challenges and successes in their field in light of the diversity they bring to the table. This event will occur on the University of Detroit Mercy’s McNichols Campus inside the Chemistry building, room 114. In partnership with Detroit Mercy’s Chemistry Club and Women and Gender Studies.

About the Production

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    Meet the Playwright

    Gunderson headshotLauren M. Gunderson is the most produced playwright in America of 2017, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award, the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, she is also a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s 3-Year Residency with Marin Theatre Company. She studied Southern Literature and Drama at Emory University, and Dramatic Writing at NYU’s Tisch School where she was a Reynolds Fellow in Social Entrepreneurship. Her work has been commissioned, produced and developed at companies across the US including South Cost Rep (“Emilie” and “Silent Sky”), The Kennedy Center (“The Amazing Adventures of Dr. Wonderful And Her Dog!”), Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The O’Neill, The Denver Center, San Francisco Playhouse, Marin Theatre, Synchronicity, Berkeley Rep, Shotgun Players, TheatreWorks, Crowded Fire and more. She co-authored “Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” with Margot Melcon, which was one of the most produced plays in America in 2017. Her work is published at Playscripts (“I and You,” “Exit Pursued By A Bear,” “The Taming,” and “Toil And Trouble”), Dramatists (“The Revolutionists,” “The Book of Will,” “Silent Sky,” “Bauer,” “Miss Bennet”) and Samuel French (“Emilie”). Her picture book “Dr. Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon” was be released from Two Lions/Amazon in May 2017. www.LaurenGunderson.com and @LalaTellsAStory

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    Meet the Director

    hawkins headshotSarah Hawkins, a native of Indiana, has been working as an actor, director, and educator across the country for the last twelve years. Hawkins received her MFA from Wayne State University and BA from Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN. Locally, she has directed at Open Book Theatre, Outvisible Theatre, Tipping Point Theatre, Warren Civic Theatre, Motor City Youth Theatre and Matrix Theatre Company. As an actor, she has performed with Tipping Point Theatre, Shakespeare Royal Oak, Planet Ant, Matrix Theatre, Open Book Theatre, Commonweal Theatre Company (Lanesboro, MN), CLIMB Theatre (St. Paul, MN) and Creede Repertory Theatre (Creede, CO). Favorite shows include  “Othello” (Emilia) with Shakespeare Royal Oak; “Ada and the Engine” (Ada Lovelace) at Open Book Theatre; “Failure: A Love Story” (Gertrude Fail) at Planet Ant; “Romeo and Juliet” (Juliet’s Nurse - Wilde Award-nominated performance), “Boeing Boeing” (Gloria) and “Big Love” (Lydia) at The Hilberry Theatre. Hawkins is a certified teacher in the Michael Chekhov technique and teaches theatre at Eastern Michigan University, University of Detroit Mercy and Henry Ford College.

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    Cast and Production Team of "Silent Sky"

    The Cast

    Amelia Rose Glenn as Henrietta Leavitt

    Elise Pannemann as Margaret Leavitt

    James Hardy as Peter Shaw

    Nina Carlson as Annie Cannon

    Krista Schafer Ewbank* as Williamina Fleming


    The Production Team

    Sarah Hawkins* director

    Alan Devlin scenic designer and technical director

    Mary Elizabeth Valesano costume designer

    Seth Amadei* lighting designer

    Preston Cornelius sound designer

    Andrew Guay properties lead

    Taylor LaPorte stage manager

    Tyne Smith assistant stage manager

    Greg Grobis managing director

    Damian Torres-Botello, S.J. outreach and audience development

    Evans Tasiopoulos ticket office coordinator

    Will Carroll social media

    *professional artistic associates