“Silent Sky” a Success

Charlie Buttler, Staff Writer

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“Silent Sky” is a play based on Henrietta Swan Leavitt, an aspiring early 1900s astronomer (played by senior Reagan Panah), and her struggles to find her footing at Harvard University while battling traditional gender stereotypes. Throughout her attempts to discover new knowledge about eh galaxy, she is held back by her gender and simply has to act like a “computer,” numbingly recording data that anyone could do all day. She consistently stays at her desk all night, trying to discover the secrets of the the stars and the universe. While she is completely committed to her low-paying and unrewarding hob, her boss, Peter, (played by senior Matthew Bentsen) falls for her and sends her life into a whirlwind.

The play lasted almost two hours, but scenes did not seem to drag on and it had my attention throughout. I was so impressed by how professional the actors were, always staying focused on their performances throughout the long show. Senior Andy Qin said afterwards that the “acting was expressive and their emotions were so notable and impressive, from the anger to almost being in tears.”

Another thing that stood out to me was the quality of the sets and lighting. Everything seemed so well produced and it helped the actors immensely. The sets gave no confusion as to what kind of scene it was, even though the small staged had to depict many different locations. Head of Lights and senior John Adams said Issaquah High School Drama sometimes took up to six hours per day practicing for the play.

There is no doubt that everyone involved had to be 100 percent dedicated to the production. Junior Anna Olsen, who played Annie, said the play involved “research into the character because it was based on real life events.” Because the play is about astronomy, she said it was quite different to remember all the scientific terms that do not come naturally.

There were only five actors, but there were many more people behind the scenes who made everything function. Olsen had high praise for senior Hannah Smith, who is a wing that had to memorize the roles of Annie and Willamina. Also, perhaps the person who keeps the whole play together is sophomore Stage Manager Phoebe Skok. “There would be no show without her,” claimed Adams.

I would certainly recommend the show to anyone who may be interested in watching a school production. All the students of the Issaquah High School Drama Program work tirelessly to produce a fantastic show, and their final product deserves a watch. Having never been to a school play, I was very happy to finally attend on and was not disappointed in the slightest.

The play was directed by Echo Glen teacher Barbara Maier.