The Playhouse at McConnellstown Opens 2024 Season with “Silent Sky”

Brace yourselves for an astronomical adventure unlike any other as The Playhouse at McConnellstown proudly presents “Silent Sky” by acclaimed playwright Lauren Gunderson. This captivating drama will grace the stage from June 7 to June 16.

“Silent Sky” tells the remarkable tale of Henrietta Leavitt, a pioneering astronomer whose groundbreaking discoveries revolutionized our understanding of the universe. Set against the backdrop of a rapidly changing world, the play explores Leavitt’s journey as she battles societal norms and personal challenges to pursue her passion for the stars.

Directed by Keith Sutton, this production promises to captivate audiences with its blend of scientific intrigue, heartfelt drama, and timeless themes of perseverance and the pursuit of knowledge. With its compelling characters and poignant storytelling, “Silent Sky” invites audiences to journey through the cosmos and witness the awe-inspiring wonder of discovery.

“Ever since my teenage years, I have had a strong interest in astronomy,” commented Sutton. “Directing this show has given me a great opportunity to rekindle that interest and delve more deeply into the history of early 20th century astrophysics, an era during which humankind was first able to get meaningful measurements on the true size of the universe and a clearer understanding of our place in it.”

Featuring a talented cast and crew, unique set design, and immersive lighting and soundscapes, “Silent Sky” promises to be an unforgettable theatrical experience for audiences of all ages. Henrietta Leavitt is portrayed by Meghan Whitesel. Henrietta’s sister, Margaret, is played by Kylee Roles. Anita Burkhart is Annie Cannon, and Jeanne Nagurny is Williamina Flemming. Peter Shaw is played by Clay Glenny.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of this production,” said Whitesel. “This script was recommended to me almost a decade ago, and a group of us did a virtual table read when we were dark during Covid. I was excited when it landed in our 2024 season.”

The show’s creative team consists of Sutton with Olivia Cooley as stage manager. Set design is by Don Dietz with sound design from Dan Weston and light design from Sutton. Barb Hughes provides technical assistance.

“Every so often, we get to produce a show that allows us to highlight our technical capabilities. ‘Silent Sky’ is one of those productions,” added Whitesel. “As I learn more about the lights and sound for this show, I find myself wishing I could see a performance from the audience—just so I can enjoy the technical components. The theatre experience isn’t just about the actors’ performances. I’m excited for our audience to experience this entire production.”

“Silent Sky” opens on June 7 and continues June 8, 14, and 15 at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinee showings are June 9 and 16 at 2:30 p.m. Ticket prices are $17 for regular admission and $15 for seniors (age 60 and older) and students (age 6 and older). Reservations for “Silent Sky” can be made by contacting the Playhouse Box Office at 814.627.0311. Payment options include cash, check, debit, or credit card. Don’t miss your chance to witness this extraordinary tale of discovery, passion, and the pursuit of the stars.

For more information about “Silent Sky” and other upcoming productions at The Playhouse at McConnellstown, please visit or follow us on Facebook.