Characters: Silent Sky

The play takes a span over 20 years, ages are a suggestion for the starting age of the storyline

Henrietta Leavitt – 30s, brilliant, meticulous, excited. Henrietta was raised by a minister, but was a non-
traditional woman of the 1900s. She aspires to work as an astronomer and is hired at the Harvard College Conservatory as one of the “computers” of astronomy. She is passionate about her work and is compelled to find answers to her questions about the universe. A dreamer and hard of hearing, wearing a period hearing aid for the entire show.

Margaret Leavitt – 30s, homebody, sweet, creative, plays piano. The opposite of her sister in many ways, Margaret is more the typical woman of the early 1900s – staying at home, getting married, having a family. She loves her sister but is concerned about Henrietta’s ambition going against the norms of societal expectations of women at the time. (Note, Margaret is a fictional character as Henrietta had 6 siblings.)

Peter Shaw – 30s, head astronomer’s apprentice, supervisor for the women at the conservatory. In contrast to Henrietta, Peter is not passionate about astronomy but enjoys the work. He wanted to be an actor. Falls in love with Henrietta. (Note, Peter is a fictional character.)

Annie Jump Cannon – 40s, leader of the group, terse, sure of herself, a firebrand. A co-worker at the conservatory of Henrietta’s who has made important scientific discoveries of her own. Annie is also a suffragette.

Williamina Fleming – 50s, scottish, smart as a whip, fun. A former housekeeper for Dr. Pickering (head of the Harvard College Observatory) was hired because Dr. Pickering felt she would do better than the men he originally hired to work for him documenting star patterns. Very quick witted.