Courtesy Photo / the Bison
The production of Silent Sky begins Oct. 30th at the Dorland Theatre. Tickets must be bought in advance at okbu.edu/theatre.
Assistant Arts Editor
At the end of this month, students from OBU’s theatre program will be performing a show known as ‘Silent Sky.’
These actors and actresses have put much time and effort into making this play happen. A few of them shared their thoughts and experiences about their time preparing for the show.
Emma Greathouse, a junior accounting major and theatre minor, gave a summary about the play and of her character.
“‘Silent Sky’ is about an astronomer named Henrietta Leavitt who left her home in Wisconsin to study the stars at Harvard Astronomy during the turn of the 20th century,” she said.
“She made a discovery there that influenced other astronomers such as Hertzsprung and Hubble. Their work would not have been possible if not for her, and yet, she was not given any credit for it because she was a woman. She even had to publish her work under her supervisor’s name to ensure its publication.”
Greathouse, who plays Leavitt, said her character is both smart and curious. She said Leavitt is dominated by her wonder of what is in the sky and the distance she is from the heavens. But she is not allowed near the telescope or any other instruments.
“She still strives to explore more and more. And the more she realizes and discovers, the more she realizes how much there is to discover,” Greathouse said.
“Eventually, she has to resign herself to understanding that there is way too much in space for one person to discover during their lifetime. It is a struggle for her to define her worth and her work’s worth when she is so demoted and discouraged by supervisors who won’t even let her touch the telescope.”
Kennedy Largent, a sophomore double major in English and secondary education, also gave a summary of her own character.
“I have the privilege of playing Williamina Fleming, one of Henrietta’s coworkers,” Largent said.
“She’s a spunky Scottish woman in her fifties and, quite honestly, my favorite character I have ever played. She was also the first female curator at Harvard University. I’m really inspired by her legacy.”
Largent also spoke of the people working on the set.
“I love the cast. I had the joy of meeting and working with them last year. They are all so talented, encouraging and fun to work with,” she said.
Greathouse said the cast and crew for this show have been amazing. It is only a five person cast so it is more intimate than other shows.
“We are becoming more and more of a close-knit family, and I believe that will only make our performance stronger,” Greathouse said.
Largent talked about how much they rehearsed and what would happen during these rehearsals.
“We rehearse 6-9 Sunday through Thursday. Our wonderful director, Dr. Dutt, has divided the rehearsals for different scene sections,” she said.
“We began with memorization and general blocking for the whole play and are now going back through to smooth out transitions and character choices. Personally, my favorite parts are the slap-happy moments where we just start laughing uncontrollably over a silly mistake.”
Greathouse also talked about some things she wanted people to know about the play.
“This show does have some serious themes-the role of women in the professional world, the struggle of love and disappointment,” she said.
“But this show is so fun and witty. Our director, Hephzibah Dutt, described it as ‘harmony in the midst of agony,’ which has been a wonderful concept to play with as we decide how to tell the story.”
Greathouse showed a lot of enthusiasm for people to come see the play.
“I am so excited to hear people’s reaction to the show and to hear how it hopefully inspires them to look at God’s wonderful creation around them and letting His creation display His character,” she said.
“My concerns are for health primarily. We have been taking COVID precautions through the entire rehearsal process, but as we get closer to the show we would appreciate the prayers for the health and safety for our entire cast and crew.”