UIS Theater Presents: Silent Sky


For its fall production, UIS theater performed the play Silent Sky. Written by playwright Lauren Gunderson and first performed in 2017, the play brings to light the forgotten story of one of the world’s greatest astronomical innovators. Along the same vein as the 2016 hit film Hidden Figures, this production gives the story and accomplishments of Leavitt the treatment they deserve. 

Silent Sky follows the story of astronomer Henrietta Leavitt as she struggles to break beyond the expectations placed upon her by the times. From her rural Wisconsin home to the great Harvard observatory, audiences can expect an inspiring story about finding one’s purpose in the face of adversity. The cast of Silent Sky features the following members: Ashley Pruitt as Henrietta Leavitt, Dominique Abiagom as Margaret Leavitt, Shea Lanier as Annie Cannon, Sherri Mitchell as Williamina Fleming, Ethan Heilman as Peter Shaw, Aislinn Diaz as the understudy for Margarett, and Katie Simpson as the understudy for Annie. 

Not only does the show feature a strong cast with each individual bringing life to his or her character, but it also features a stunning set that brings incredible depth to the show. With some stage magic, the audience is taken from their seats and thrust into a field of stars. The dedicated work of the cast and crew is plain to see; over the show’s roughly hour and a half run, the audience will inevitably lose themselves in a gripping and emotional story. 

Directed by Missy Thibodeaux-Thompson, the production has 3 more showings. Opening at 7 p.m. on Oct. 25 and 26 and 2 p.m. the following day, this production is a must-see. Tickets can be purchased outside the Studio Theater in the UIS Performing Arts Center (PAC). The show is a great opportunity for students, faculty, and the community at large to support the growing UIS theater program.