The Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s production of Silent Sky is simply radiant. A ring of soft lights circles the stage and another hangs over the performers, standing in for the stars and blinking brighter at a key moment. Onstage, lead Alexis Bronkovic echoes their glow. Her character Henrietta Leavitt is guided not by a desire for romance, but by her calling of astronomy. While a love interest does eventually appear, he’s a minor subplot. Henrietta’s work, her ideas, and her camaraderie with her coworkers are far more central to the plot.
Another lovely way that that set informs the production is that it seems designed to suggest a telescope. The back of the stage is a small circular space lined with mirrors that is only inhabited by Henrietta’s sister Margaret, with whom she has a loving but contentious relationship. Several times while the two are separated, Margaret sits in that space, playing her piano and singing—and reflecting her light back at Henrietta. Even when they are distant stars in each other’s lives, they remain connected.
I love that the MRT followed up the very masculine play The Royale with this women-centric production, and I feel very lucky to have such high caliber theater right in my backyard.
–Amy Roeder, Cohort
Silent Sky runs October 18 – November 12