McCord Rd Christian Church 4765 N McCord Rd Sylvania, OH 43560
FREE and open to the public! Come and talk to representatives from a number of area preschools. Local family friendly businesses will offer children's activities and crafts as well! Door prizes from area businesses too!
Jennifer Wegrzyn 419-320-6953 MCFundraising@hotmail.com
Valentine Theatre Studio A Toledo — A celestial romance and true story of discovery, Silent Sky by acclaimed playwright Lauren Gunderson opens at the Valentine’s Studio theatre.
Silent Sky runs Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m., Jan. 12 through Jan. 21. Tickets are general admission $20 For tickets and information, call 419/242-2787 or go to valentinetheatre.com
Decades before the ‘hidden figures’ made famous by the Academy Award-nominated film, astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt (1868-1921) and her female colleagues at the Harvard Observatory acted as “human computers,” using math and measurement to chart the skies. Without ever being allowed to touch a telescope — a task prohibited to women at the turn of the 20th century — Leavitt discovered a method to measure the distances of faraway galaxies and paved the way for modern astronomy.
Jeffrey Albight directs Elizabeth Cottle, Marissa Rex, Greg Kissner, Cindy Bilby and Anne Cross. This is the second play of Lauren Gunderson’s that Jeffrey Albright has directed. The creative team includes Debbie Marinik, Jeremy Allen and Kathy Dowd. Albright recently helmed her play “Bauer” about forgotten modern/abstract painter Rudolf Bauer for Actors Collaborative Toledo. Gunderson’s play is a fictionalized biography, an irresistible combination of humor, romance, feminism and universe-revealing science. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution calls the play “luminously beautiful… an intellectual epic told on an intimate scale.”
“In the play, the very real mathematical relationship discovered by Leavitt is explained not with numbers, but with notes,” the playwright explained in an interview. “Henrietta’s sister, Margaret, is a pianist and just when Henrietta can’t stare at the tables of measurements describing her Cepheid variable stars any longer, she listens… then looks up… then sees/hears what she’s been searching for: a pattern. That moment is what made me write this play, because it could only work in a play. It’s theatrical, it’s musical, it’s not a moment of dialog but a moment of clarity, everything changes in this moment.”
Working without recognition in a male-dominated field that refused to treat women as equals, Leavitt discovered more than 2,400 variable stars, about half of the known total in her day. By intense observation of a certain class of variable star, the cepheids, she discovered a direct correlation between the time it took a star to go from bright to dim to how bright it actually was. Knowing this relationship helped other astronomers, including Edwin Hubble, to make their own groundbreaking discoveries. She also developed a standard of photographic measurements that was accepted by the International Committee on Photographic Magnitudes and called the “Harvard Standard.” Remembered by a colleague as “possessing the best mind at the Observatory,” Leavitt worked at the Harvard College Observatory until her death from cancer in 1921.
“We are still in the unfortunate rut of under-opportunity and under-representation for women in the sciences and tech,” Gunderson said. “This play aims to expose and challenge that angering trend with a true story of a woman who changed the course of astronomy and, to the extent that astronomy defines us as a civilization, human life. And she did it in a room with several other brilliant but underpaid, sequestered, unappreciated woman mathematicians who were not allowed to even use the telescopes that the men could.”
Lauren Gunderson has been identified by American Theatre magazine as the most-produced living playwright of last year’s 2016-17 season, with 16 productions of her plays taking place at theaters across the country. Science is a recurring theme in her work, as are stories of women otherwise neglected by history
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