'Silent Sky' Charlie Gorrill


Silent Sky

Every Fri. and Sat. from Feb. 22-March 7
7:30 p.m.
Every Sun. from Feb. 23-March 8
3 p.m.

Using a planetarium as the venue for a play about astronomy? It’s such a good idea, Theatre Pro Rata had it before the planetarium even existed. Artistic director Carin Bratlie Wethern says the company has been considering Silent Sky, Lauren Gunderson’s 2011 play about pioneering Harvard astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt, for years. “OMG, wouldn’t it be wonderful to do it in a planetarium?” she says. “So we actually started talking with the Bell before their new space was even built.” Silent Sky will be the first theatrical production to be staged in the Bell Museum’s new Whitney and Elizabeth MacMillan Planetarium, but it’s far from the first time Theatre Pro Rata is forgoing a conventional space: They’ve worked in a college lecture hall, a defunct movie theater, and even a cemetery. “We’re bringing our expertise on that,” says Wethern, and the museum staff are “bringing their expertise in creating this beautiful visual world that is going to be surrounding the play.”