Silent Sky features breakthroughs by women astronomers

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KYLIE SCHWAB


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UNK Theatre performed “Silent Sky” at the Miriam Drake Theatre March 2-5. The production was directed by UNK professor Janice Fronczak.

The production came just in time for Women’s History Month.

“Our story follows a woman astronomer, Henrietta Leavitt, working in a man’s world at Harvard’s observatory,” Fronczak said. “She discovered how to measure the distance between the stars. Her findings opened up the whole world of astronomy.”

UNK Theatre was finally able to produce “Silent Sky” after two cancellations.

“Some challenges are that our set is very abstract; it is not realistic,” Fronczak said. “I had to direct the actors to perform in a way that is realistic. We go in and out of sequences, so we had to figure that out rather quickly.”

Many pieces came together to make the production.

“We have a student composer creating the score,” Fronczak said. “This was very exciting to see how it pairs with the piece. Each rehearsal is getting better and better, I can’t wait for people to see it.”

UNK senior Maximus Wohler served as the sound designer and composer for “Silent Sky.”

“Before this instance I had only ever composed one time, which was with another person,” Wohler said. “I didn’t quite understand what kind of a time sync that was going to be and how difficult it is to come up with musical ideas that convey the emotion that we are looking for.”

There are many aspects of theatre that can compel students to get involved. UNK encourages students inside and outside of the program to connect with the arts.

“I love when students come to engage with the theatre,” Fronczak said. “It helps enrich our community on campus. Having them come to celebrate the theatre, student actors and producers, a woman’s story of working in science and astronomy is something amazing that we are offering here with our production.”

Wohler looks forward to students hearing his work.

“I hope that students enjoy the beauty that is the show,” Wohler said. “I hope that the pieces I have composed only build on the work that everybody else has done. I don’t want my work to take away from the show, only to enhance what it already is.”