Silent Sky

Anna Veltkamp-Staff Writer

Stars will shine bright on the evenings of Feb. 22 through Feb. 25th as Dordt College Theatre Arts Department proudly presents the Spring Mainstage Production, Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky.

Set in the early 1900s, Silent Sky tells the story of one of Harvard’s first woman astronomers, Henrietta Leavitt. In a time where women were calculators only – prohibited even, from touching a telescope – Henrietta makes a groundbreaking discovery that transforms the world of science forever. Through the difficulties of being a female scientist in a man’s career, she manages to determine how to measure the stars outside of the universe.

Dr. Channon Visscher, professor of chemistry & planetary science at Dordt College, explains the significance of Henrietta’s discovery:

“The reason this is so important is because it gives us a way to estimate the distance to these [Cepheids] stars, even if they are very far away.”

“Even more than that,” said Visscher, “Hubble used her discovery to estimate the distance to Andromeda galaxy!”

Dordt senior Ellen Inggrid Dengah, who will play the part of Henrietta, said that audiences can expect to see plenty of stars incorporated in the settings and movable stage design, as well as some original music.

“Ellie Koerner, the sound designer, is composing her own music for this production.”

Along with Ellen, a small cast of four other students will take audiences on a riveting account of this scientific discovery. Annie Sears will play Margret Leavitt (Henrietta’s sister), Anna Jordan will play Annie Jump Cannon, Jennifer Allen will play Wilhelmina Flemming and Harrison Burns will play Peter Shaw (the sole fictional character).

Join the cast and crew of Silent Sky and experience the struggles of Henrietta as she strove to uncover the stars in a male-dominated world of science. You may buy tickets ahead of time, or purchase them online at

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