Performances play April 1-May 1, 2011, on the Segerstrom Stage.
Silent Sky, an SCR commission, "mingles science and history with a dose of feminism and romantic love," according to the Costa Mesa, CA, not-for-profit. "It's the story of Henrietta Leavitt, 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?"
This is Gunderson's second produced commission at SCR. Her first, Emilie: Le Marquise Du Châtelet Defends Her Life at the Petite Théâtre at Cirey Tonight, also looked at a real-life female scientist who never received proper credit for her ideas. Gunderson holds an MFA in dramatic writing from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts. Some of her other works include Fire Work, Baby M, Leap, Parts They Call Deep and Exit, Pursued By a Bear.
Silent Sky will be part of the 2011 Pacific Playwrights Festival. The run coincides with the PPF slate of staged readings of new plays.