Sometimes a play comes along that combines biography and human interest in a way that captures the imagination of theatergoers across the country.
Lauren Gunderson's award-winning bio-drama "Silent Sky," to be presented by Playhouse 2000 beginning April 9, is that kind of play.
"I haven't spoken to a single person who has seen or read this play that didn't just fall in love with it," says the play's director and Playhouse 2000 Executive Director Jeffrey Brown.
"It's both a historical record and a 'feel good' story that leaves the audience exhilarated."
This may be why, since its premiere at California's South Coast Repertory Theater in 2011, "Silent Sky," based on the life of pioneering Astronomer Henrietta Leavitt, has become the single most-produced play in America.
"The play does a wonderful job of exploring how one women overcomes the odds of both physical disability - Ms. Leavitt was nearly deaf - and social prejudice to follow her dreams of uncovering the mysteries the universe," Brown continued. "Her persistence leads to one of the most important and fundamental discoveries in astronomy in the beginning of the twentieth century."
The Playhouse 2000 production of "Silent Sky" features an "all star" cast that includes Marcus Goodyear as "Peter Shaw," Heather Cunningham as "Annie Cannon," Jessica Sturm as "Williamina Fleming," Amy Goodyear as "Margaret Leavitt," and Tasha Remschel as "Henrietta Leavitt," the ground-breaking scientist whose work became the basis for later discoveries by the giants of astronomy, including Edwin Hubble.
"The themes of scientific discovery, and in particular women in science, make this an important story to tell. But it's Gunderson's treatment of the human side of science that makes it a wonderful story to see and enjoy," Brown added. "It's a very warm and compelling play that audiences around the world have really taken to their hearts."
"Silent Sky" will be presented in the VK Garage Theater from April 9-25, with performances on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and matinees on April 18 and April 25 at 2:30 p.m.
In order to provide safe distances between seated patrons, attendance at each performance is limited. Advance reservations are strongly recommended.
Tickets can be purchased online at www.CaillouxPerformingArts.com; at the Cailloux Theater Box Office, in person from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, or 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays; or by phone at any time by leaving a detailed message at 896-9393.
The VK Garage Theater is located at 305 Washington Street in downtown Kerrville, and is part of the Kathleen C. Cailloux City Center for the Performing Arts, managed, on behalf of the City of Kerrville, by Playhouse 2000, Inc.
At least through May, seating in the Cailloux City Center's two theaters will be limited to allow for appropriate social distances between seated patrons. Face coverings are urged for all while entering and traveling inside the facilities.