Locally, three productions have been postponed amid prayers for them to enter at the end of the 2021-22 season. Two return and both are virtually unknown, but offer opportunities for connections and interest. The two plays are Silent Sky at Tacoma Little Theater and Oregon Trail at CenterStage.
The third production, at the Lakewood Playhouse, The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson has been canceled by director Jen York. COVID had cast its net over several of the cast not allowing time to continue or integrate it with other productions that were ready to continue. Instead, Lakewood Playhouse started with Head Over Heels, a really fun production, much to the delight of our granddaughters.
I’m surprised no one heard me groan in disbelief when Silent Sky was taken off my review list. Perhaps the autumn and winter winds drowned out my disappointment.
Silent Sky is a true story of 19th century astronomer Henrietta Leavitt as she explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discovery, when the ideas of women were rejected until that men claim the merit. Social progress, like scientific progress, can be hard to see when one is ensnared in earthly complications. Henrietta and her fellow female scientists knew both, and their dedication changed the way we understand both the heavens and the Earth.
Henrietta Swan Leavitt (July 4, 1868 – December 12, 1921) was a graduate of Radcliffe College. She worked at the Harvard College Observatory as a “computer”, much like the women in the movie Hidden Figures, measuring and cataloging the brightness of stars. His work has allowed us to measure the distance to distant galaxies. His techniques allow us to measure distances of up to hundreds of light-years. His work at pennies an hour has allowed astronomers to measure distances in our own galaxy and beyond. Thanks to it, we know that the Milky Way has a diameter of about 100,000 light years.
Tacoma Little Theater’s production of Silent Sky features Jessica Robins as Henrietta Leavitt, Jillian Faulk as Margaret Leavitt, Mason Quinn as Peter Shaw, Rachel Permann as Annie Cannon and Deya Ozburn as Williamina Fleming.
Silent Sky will run from Friday July 8 to Sunday July 24, 2022. Friday and Saturday screenings are at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Silent Sky is recommended for ages 12 and up.
Tickets can be purchased online at – tacomalittletheatre.com or you can call the box office at (253) 272-2281.
Returning in August, just before the start of the 2022-23 playing season, The Oregon Trail at CenterStage.
The story is not about the original Oregon Trail which involved people flocking to Oregon in the 1800s, hungry for new land and new homes (taken from Native Americans of course, but let’s not go there). In fact, this is the original Oregon land grab, but in an interesting and roundabout way. The play is about a computer game.
Funny, provocative and smart, The Oregon Trail follows young 90s Jane from middle school, where she finds solace in her favorite 8-bit video game, through to adulthood, where the game seems to follow her with its all-knowing gaze. , helping him navigate his growing pains. While struggling with what she really wants, Jane meets someone totally unexpected: her own great-great-grandmother, on the Oregon Trail…in 1848!
Here are some reviews of the piece itself:
Bold and funny
“With a brash and funny script, a cast of talented actors with excellent comedic timing, and deft set design, The Oregon Trail is a fun show, especially for adults of a certain age group. It’s definitely not a show for kids, despite the video game connection, but for anyone who grew up playing “Oregon Trail” or reached adulthood in the 90s, The Oregon Trail achieved all goals. -EDGEMedia
Well-written dark comedy
“Brunstetter’s dialogue is awash with wit and warm ’90s nostalgia…it’s an encouraging sign that geeks will inherit the land when a corny middle school educational video game gets such a theatrical production at the Portland Center Stage. ” -The Oregonian
A well-knit cast
“I loved the contrasting stories and especially the wry voice of the narrator as it gave deeper substance to Jane’s inner self. Riordan performed it well and kept the story understandable, even jumping back and forth. back through the centuries.-Dennis Sparks
The play runs from August 19 to September 11, 2022.
Get Oregon Trail tickets here – centerstagetheatre.com/tickets-2/
I hope you will take advantage of these subscriptions at the end of 2021-2022. Both productions offer different perspectives and unusual scenarios.