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University Theatre presents 'Silent Sky'

Cast members in the UW-River Falls production of “Silent Sky” (from left to right) are: Becca Donley as Margaret Leavitt, Emma Johnson as Henrietta Swan Leavitt, Lynnia Alden as Annie Cannon, Kaleb Wick as Peter Shaw, and Brooke Hafner as Williamina Fleming. Photo courtesy of UWRF

"Silent Sky" will be performed by the University Theatre at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls on Feb. 22-24 and March 1-3 in the Blanche Davis Theatre in the Kleinpell Fine Arts building. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and are open to the public.

"Silent Sky," by Lauren Gunderson, is based on the true story and science of Henrietta Swan Leavitt and other early 20th century female "computers" working at the Harvard College Observatory at the dawn of modern astronomy. Leavitt's breakthrough discovery enabled astronomers, including Edwin Hubble, to calculate the distance between earth and remote galaxies and stars. During her career at the Harvard College Observatory, Leavitt also discovered more than 2,400 variable stars, approximately half of those known during her lifetime. In this blend of science, history, family ties, and fragile love, a passionate young woman from rural Wisconsin must map her own passage through a society determined to keep a woman in her place.

The production is directed by Robin Murray, UWRF professor of stage and screen arts.

The cast features Emma Patrice Johnson of Shoreview, Minn., as Henrietta Swan Leavitt; Lynnia Alden of North Branch, Minn., as Annie Cannon; Becca Donely of Mounds View, Minn., as Margaret Leavitt; Kaleb Wick of Rosemount, Minn., as Peter Shaw; and Brooke Hafner of St. Paul as Williamina Fleming.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for seniors (60 and up) and $5 for students with UWRF ID and others under 18. The box office, located in Kleinpell Fine Arts near Gallery 101, will be open weekdays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. beginning Feb. 14. On performance nights, the box office opens at 6:30 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in person, by phone at 715-425-3114, or online at marketplace.uwrf.edu.

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