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Act 1 Presents Silent Sky

by Tom McNamara '92, M'21 Sep 22, 2022
Act 1 Silent Sky

Act 1 DeSales University Theatre is pleased to announce that Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky will be the opening production of its 53rd season.

The play opens on Wednesday, September 28, and runs until Sunday, October 9, on the Main Stage of the Labuda Center for the Performing Arts.

Gunderson, heralded as one of the most produced playwrights in America, tells the story of Henrietta Swan Leavitt, one of the first female astronomers who was instrumental in future understanding of the structure and size of the universe. Leavitt discovered a way to accurately measure distances on an intergalactic scale. The play explores the work-life balance Leavitt endured with family obligations and illness.

“I have long been a fan of Lauren Gunderson's writing. She infuses her strongly crafted characters with complex and delicious dialogue. Her stories mine the depths of relationships for conflict."

 Jessica Bedford, director of Silent Sky and assistant professor of theatre

Silent Sky is a particularly exciting project as it introduces us to a real-life female pioneer in the STEM world. Two casts of actors will be tackling the script on rotating nights, each with a unique take on the work.”

Recreating the Harvard Observatory offices as well as the Leavitt homes in Wisconsin and Cambridge, Mass., is Will Neuert, associate professor and head of design. Amy Best, associate professor and resident costume designer, designs the turn of the century costumes. Eric T. Haugen, assistant professor, serves as lighting designer, and David M. Greenberg as sound designer. Philadelphia-based actor Mary Elizabeth Scallen serves as dialect coach.

Silent Sky opens on Wednesday, September 28, and runs through Sunday, October 9, 2022. Performances are Wednesdays through Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays at 2:00 p.m., and Tuesday, October 4 at 9:45 a.m. The play will stream on Saturday, October 8. Ticket prices are $23 for adults and $21 for students and seniors Tuesday through Thursday and $27 for adults and $25 for students and seniors Friday through Sunday. Tickets for the streamed performance are $15. There are two talkback performances with the cast. The first will be on Sunday, October 2, after the 2:00 p.m. performance and one on Tuesday, October 4, following the 9:45 a.m. performance.

Students who attend DeSales or any other Lehigh Valley college or university can purchase tickets for $8. Group discounts are available for all performances. Tickets may be purchased by calling the Labuda Center Box Office at 610-282-3192 or by visiting the website at

To improve accessibility for all patrons, the Saturday, October 8, 8:00 p.m. performance will feature open captioning for patrons who are deaf or hard of hearing and audio descriptions for patrons who are blind or visually impaired. During open captioned performances, all dialogue and sound effects are presented in real-time on an LED screen that is adjacent to the stage. During audio described performances, all action and physical appearances are described live through a headset. Tickets are half price for patrons using these special services on this date. Please call Box Office Manager Kyle Schumaker at 610-282-1100, ext. 1820, for more information.

The Labuda Center is accessible and equipped with a listening enhancement system. Special seating is available for our patrons using wheelchairs or requiring other assistance. Please inform the box office of your needs when ordering tickets.