Audition Information

Auditions for Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson

Flat Earth Theatre seeks actors for Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky, the story of Henrietta Leavitt, the Harvard astronomer who discovered the way to measure the distance between galaxies despite the rule that women could not use the telescope, directed by Dori Robinson. Silent Sky will be performed for three weeks: March 10th through 25th at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown.

A small stipend for cast members will be offered.

Audition Info

Auditions will be held on Sunday, December 4th and Tuesday, December 6th, 2016 in the parish hall of the Church of the Good Shepherd, 9 Russell Avenue, Watertown (at the Russell Ave stop on the 71 bus from Harvard Square).

The following half-hour audition slots are available:

  • Sunday 12/4, 7:00pm (FULL)
  • Sunday 12/4, 7:30pm (FULL)
  • Sunday 12/4, 8:00pm (FULL)
  • Sunday 12/4, 8:30pm (FULL)
  • Sunday 12/4, 9:00pm (FULL)
  • Sunday 12/4, 9:30pm
  • Tuesday 12/6, 7:00pm (FULL)
  • Tuesday 12/6, 7:30pm (FULL)
  • Tuesday 12/6, 8:00pm (FULL)
  • Tuesday 12/6, 8:30pm (FULL)
  • Tuesday 12/6, 9:00pm

Please email your headshot and résumé, along with your top two preferred audition times to Slots will be limited to six performers each, though we will make every effort to accommodate your first choice. If necessary, other arrangements can be made with the director, though this cannot be guaranteed.

For your audition, please prepare a one- to two-minute contemporary or classical monologue. The themes could include (but are not limited to) discovery or innovation, science, women in the workplace, family, etc.

Callbacks, if needed, will be held on Thursday, December 8th.


  • Henrietta Leavitt - 20s-30s, brilliant, meticulous, dedicated to her work. Curious and passionate about finding our place in the universe.
  • Margaret Leavitt - 20s-30s, creative, sweet and thoughtful sister. She can hold her own with her exceptional sister – doesn’t let her off the hook. The two compliment one another well.
  • Peter Shaw - 30s, the head astronomer’s apprentice. Unsure of himself as he tries to fulfill the role of the man. Like the women of the play, he wants a life that society wouldn’t choose for him.
  • Annie Cannon - 30s-40s, smart and capable. A leader one can look up to and respect. She doesn’t mess around, and tells it like it is. She begins with a deep respect for structure and what has been; she evolves into wanting more for herself and other women.
  • Williamina Fleming - 40s-50s, smart as a whip and fun. Scottish (no accent for auditions, please!). She and Annie compliment one another as the logical one, and the optimist.

Show Summary

At Harvard Observatory at the turn of the 20th century, Henrietta Leavitt joins a group of women tasked with charting the heavens without being allowed to touch a telescope. Despite restrictions placed on her because of her sex, Henri devotes her life to the study of celestial bodies just out of reach, balancing the needs of love and family close at hand. Inspired by the real-life woman whose work allowed astronomers to measure the distance of faraway galaxies, Lauren Gunderson's melodious, evocative Silent Sky challenges how we explore our universe by revealing the music of the stars.

Note From The Director

At the heart of this play is Henri’s quest to learn, “who are we, why are we – where are we?” She is driven to learn where she is – be that beyond Earth or even the Galaxy. Even more, Henri fights to conduct this exploration as an astronomer, though she is not allowed to look through the Great Refractor with her own eyes (until the very end, of course). To question is one thing; to demand the right to question is another. In other words, though it’s based on historical occurrences, it is a deeply timely story.

Silent Sky is a world where women spar with their tongues and challenge the status quo even when their opportunities are on the “corner of someone else’s chance.” While the characters are based on brilliant historical scientists, Silent Sky asks us to care as deeply about their professional development as their personal ones. Just as in every other play, these characters have stakes in one another, in their work, in the dialogue. They are of their time, and yet incredibly modern in their fight and journeys!

It should be noted that all characters age and grow throughout the course of the play.

Show Info

  • Performance Dates - March 10–25, 2017
  • Performance Location - Arsenal Center for the Arts, Black Box Theater, 321 Arsenal Street, Watertown
  • Rehearsal Details - All rehearsals will be held at the Church of the Good Shepherd, 9 Russell Ave., Watertown. The read-through is tentatively scheduled for December 15. Rehearsals aim to start in January. Expect to rehearse three to four nights per week.