By Lauren Gunderson
America’s most popular modern playwright
When Henrietta Leavitt begins work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she isn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea, and instead must chart the stars for a renowned astronomer. In her free time, while she attempts to measure the light and distance of stars, she must also take measure of her life on Earth and balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love.
“…sheer magic…bursts of smart, infectious humor.”
– San Francisco Chronicle
Run Time: Approximately 2 hours with one intermission
Age recommendation: 10+
Kate Berg (Margaret Leavitt) is thrilled to return to American Stage after playing Melody in BAD JEWS! Other regional: THE GLASS MENAGERIE (Guthrie Theatre); SYLVIA, MOTHER OF THE BRIDE? (Cape May Stage); ECHOES (Urbanite Theatre); AGATHA CHRISTIE’S SPIDERS WEB (Theater Barn). Select New York credits: HEDDA GABLER (Dyckman Farmhouse Museum); HAMLET, DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE (RMTG); THE COMMAND CENTER (AND Theatre Company). This winter, Kate will be at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center and The Thank in the new play STACY & MIA. BFA Acting, University of Michigan (go blue!) Love always to Mom. kateberg.net
Benjamin T. Ismail* (Peter Shaw) is happy to be back at American Stage after he previously performed here in THE INVISIBLE HAND in 2017. His varied American Stage work includes directing BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, INFORMED CONSENT and 4000 MILES as well as Sound and Projection designs for several shows. He is the former Producing Artistic Director of Big Idea Theatre in Sacramento, CA. Other acting credit highlights include ANGELS IN AMERICA and TARTUFFE (Berkeley Rep); Mary Zimmerman’s METAMORPHOSES (Berkeley Rep & Guthrie runs); TRIBES, THE SANTALAND DIARIES and SPEECH & DEBATE (Capital Stage); THE SUBMISSION, COMPLEAT FEMALE STAGE BEAUTY and CLOUD 9 (Big Idea).
Karel K. Wright* (Williamina Fleming)is thrilled to be returning to American Stage. Karel was last seen at American Stage as Delia Coleman in ONE SLIGHT HITCH and before that as Mattie Fae in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. Other regional credits include WHITE RABBIT RED RABBIT (Urbanite Theatre); IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU (Tierra del Sol Theatre); THE BEAUTY QUEEN OF LEENANE and HARPER REAGAN (The Jewel Theatre); THE SNOW QUEEN (The Hippodrome Theatre); HIGH SPIRITS (TheatreZone); KISS THE MOON, KISS THE SUN (Banyan Theatre); FARNDALE CHRISTMAS CAROL (Orlando Shakespeare Company); OUTSIDE MULLINGAR, TOP GIRLS, 1776, ANIMAL CRACKERS, THE DEAD, PYGMALION, COLLECTED STORIES and CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF (Mad Cow Theatre). Karel received her BFA from the University of Minnesota and MFA from the University of Illinois. Karel trained with American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. To learn more about Karel, please visit her website at www.karelkwright.com
Susan Maris* (Henrietta Leavitt) is excited to make her American Stage debut! New York credits The Wild Project, West End Theatre, Prospect Theatre Co., Titan Theatre. Regional credits include LOVE’S LABOUR’S LOST, MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING, THE LEARNED LADIES, OTHELLO, THE SERVANT OF TWO MASTERS, A CHRISTMAS CAROL, IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, BLITHE SPIRIT, THE GRAPES OF WRATH (The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey). HAPPY, STRUCK, HALFTIME WITH DON, THE SUBSTANCE OF BLISS (New Jersey Repertory Company,) CYMBELINE (Theatreworks Colorado), SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, TWELFTH NIGHT, HAMLET, and GERTRUDE AND CLAUDIUS (Orlando Shakespeare Theater). Film/TV “Limitless,” “She Gave Me Water,” “The Blood Painting,” Discovery Channel, and College Humor.
Vickie Daignault* (Annie) is happy to return to American Stage where she was seen as Det. Audrey O’Conner in BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY and Jean in GOOD PEOPLE. Other regional theatre credits include HATS!, THE MUSICAL with Melissa Manchester (The Royal George), WOMEN LAUGHING ALONE WITH SALAD (Urbanite Theatre); the solo show THE YEAR OF MAGICAL THINKING (Stageworks Theatre); THE DIXIE SWIM CLUB with Morgan Fairchild (Alhambra Theatre & Dining); SPIRIT OF THE YULE (Key City Public Theatre); TIME STEP, ON THE BRINK, DAUGHTER OF BEIJING (The Theatre Building); BIG RIVER, KINDERTRANSPORT, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (Apple Tree Theatre); among others. Additionally, she can be seen in the films “Epiphany,” “Last of the Dog Days,” “Alien Hand,” and “The Serious Student”. Many thanks to Kristin, Stephanie and the American Stage staff for including me in this beautiful production.
*Member of Actors’ Equity Association | #Member of the United Scenic Artists union
Spotlight Series: PROLOGUES
A performance primer! Join us 30 minutes before the performance and enrich your play-going experience with an engaging discussion that explores fascinating details about the play and the artists.
Free for ticket holders to the performance.
Spotlight Series: BEHIND-THE-SCENES*
November 10, 2019
Take a peek behind the curtain before the opening of each production with a presentation by Professor Emerita Dedee Aleccia. She provides insights into the history and central themes of the play, as well as a discussion with members of the creative team who provide an insider’s perspective on their process.
Pricing: $10 for General Public.
Free for American Stage Subscribers and Act 1 Club Members
Spotlight Series: CHATBACKS
December 1, 8, & 15
Immediately following select performances, chat with the artists and other audience members while the experience of the play is fresh! Ask questions about the play, the characters, and the process, and respond to the story and ideas aroused by the production.
Free for ticket holders to the performance.
“…surprisingly heartfelt play…balancing out the starstruck musings of an overworked astronomer with warmth and relatability.” – Julie Garisto, Creative Pinellas
“I sure left feeling all the emotions one feels from great theater. Whether you think the subject interests you or not, you are likely to take something away with you from this excellent play.” – Bill Oser, Talkin’ Broadway
“…appeals to both men and women when it comes to the power of perseverance…a magical theatrical mixture.” – Peter A. Balaskas, Splash Magazine
“It captures, again and again, the sense of awe and wonder that comes from peering into the infinite unknown.” Bill DeYoung, St. Pete Catalyst
“An excellent play for young people…both informative and enjoyable theater.” – Jake-Ann Jones, The Weekly Challenger