Silent Sky at Berry

Candace Shirley as Margaret, and Lilly Gonzalez as Henrietta in the Berry College production of "Silent Sky" which runs Nov. 14-18. / Contributed photo

The Berry College Theatre Company presents the untold story of a pioneering woman astronomer in “Silent Sky” Nov. 14 – 18.

 “Silent Sky” is set around the turn of the 20th century and tells the real-life story of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt as she balances health complications, familial obligations and gender discrimination. The story surrounds Leavitt and her fellow female colleagues including famous astronomer and curator of the Harvard University Observatory, Annie Jump Cannon. Cannon visited Berry in the 1930s and was a contemporary of Martha Berry. 

 “Silent Sky” is directed by Berry artist-in-residence David Alford, who has a career in both theater and television. A Juilliard graduate, he recently appeared on Broadway in “The Little Foxes,” and is best known for playing Bucky Dawes in the television series “Nashville.”

 “I’ve been very impressed by the dedication of the Berry theatre students,” Alford said. “They’re easily the hardest-working bunch I’ve ever been around. And it’s a privilege to work with them on this beautiful new play, shining a light on the contributions of women in science.”

 The set, costumes, hair and makeup for “Silent Sky” are all designed by theater students.

 “Henrietta is one of the strongest female characters I have ever portrayed. She was a pioneer of her time and made so many impactful contributions, despite all the obstacles in her way,” said Lilly Gonzalez, a theater major from Roswell, who plays Leavitt. “The astronomical community will be forever thankful for her work, and BCTC is proud to share her story- a story of dedication, perseverance and triumph; a story people need to know.”

Shows start at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and a 2 p.m. performance on Sunday. General admission is $12, senior citizens are $8 and students are $6. Tickets can be purchased online at www.berry.edu/bctc-tickets or by calling (706) 236-2263.