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Silent Sky

Silent Sky

Lauren Gunderson


When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joins a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculates projects in “girl hours” and has no time for the women’s probing theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love. The true story of 19th century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discoveries, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is trapped among earthly complications; Henrietta Leavitt and her female peers believe in both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and Earth.

Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Lauren Gunderson

Lauren has been one of the most produced playwrights in America since 2015, topping the list twice including 2019/20. She is a two-time winner of the Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for “I and You” and “The Book of Will”, the winner of the Lanford Wilson Award and the Otis Guernsey New Voices Award, a finalist for the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and John Gassner Award for Playwriting, and a recipient of the Mellon Foundation’s 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. She co-authored the “Miss Bennet” plays with Margot Melcon, and her audioplay “The Half-Life Of Marie Curie” is available on Her work is published at Playscripts (“I and You”, “Exit Pursued by a Bear”, “The Taming”, and “Toil and Trouble”), Dramatists Play Service (“The Revolutionists”, “The Book of Will”, “Silent Sky”, “Bauer”, “Natural Shocks”, “The Wickhams”, and “Miss Bennet”) and Samuel French (“Emilie”). Her picture book “Dr. Wonderful: Blast Off to the Moon” is available from Two Lions/Amazon. She is currently developing musicals with Ari Afsar, Dave Stewart and Joss Stone.

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