Silent Sky, running to May 1, is an SCR commission "that mingles science and history with a dose of feminism and romantic love," according to the resident theatre in Costa Mesa, CA. "It's the story of Henrietta Leavitt (Monette Magrath, a regional theatre veteran who has also appeared on Showtime's "Weeds"), a Massachusetts pastor's daughter who leaves her home and beloved sister for a job at Harvard University's Observatory. There she maps the night sky by studying photographic plates and meets Peter Shaw, the head astronomer's apprentice, who makes her re-think her vow never to marry. Despite her lowly position and limited access to scientific equipment, Henrietta makes an amazing discovery. But will she get the credit? Will her health give out before she gets the answers she’s seeking? Will her family obligations keep her from the man she loves?"
Openng night is April 8. This is Gunderson's second commission at SCR. Her first, Emilie, also examined a real-life female scientist who never received proper credit for her ideas. The playwright holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU Tisch School of the Arts. Her play, Exit, Pursued By A Bear, is having a three-city rolling world premiere at Synchronicity Theatre, Crowded Fire and ArtsWest.
Silent Sky director Anne Justine D'Zmura's cast includes Nick Toren (Broadway's The Elephant Man) as Peter Shaw and Erin Cottrell ("Guiding Light") as Henrietta's musically talented sister, Margaret, plus SCR regulars Amelia White (a Broadway veteran last seen at SCR as Mrs. Tarleton in Misalliance) and Collette Kilroy (SCR's Safe in Hell, TV's "The Profiler").
The production team includes John Iacovelli (set design), David Kay Mickelsen (costume design), York Kennedy (lighting design), Lewis Flinn (original music) and Chrissy Church (stage manager).
For more information, visit www.scr.org.