‘Silent Sky,’ a Story of Women Astronomers

Astronomer Henrietta Leavitt (Ali Abdul Rahim) studies a star plate in By the Sea Productions’ ‘Silent Sky.’ (Photo by Iain MacAdam)

MORRO BAY By the Sea Productions’ third show this season is “Silent Sky” by Lauren Gunderson, based on the true story of Henrietta Leavitt, hired by Harvard University in the early 1900s as a human computer. Along with two other women, they are tasked with mapping the stars, but without access to the telescopes. Instead, they worked with photos taken by the male astronomers, and still succeeded brilliantly. However, Henrietta’s dedication took a toll on her family and personal relationships. Like the book and film “Hidden Figures,” this play sheds light on another unsung group of accomplished women, offering a slice of history while tugging at your heartstrings.

Directed by Kelli M. Poward, the cast includes Ali Abdul Rahim as Henrietta; Sarah Ruth Smith as her sister; Cathe Fein Olson and Rhonda Crowfoot as her co-workers; and Tim Linzey as her neglected suitor.

“Silent Sky” plays May 3 through May 26, with performances Friday and Saturday evenings at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 3 p.m. at St. Peter’s Episcopal Hall, 545 Shasta Ave., Morro Bay. Ticket reservations can be made online at bytheseaproductions.org or by calling 805-776-3287.