Announcing Auditions: Silent Sky, by Lauren Gunderson

A Providence Players Mainstage Production
Directed by Tina Hodge Thronson

When Henrietta Leavitt began work at the Harvard Observatory in the early 1900s, she wasn’t allowed to touch a telescope or express an original idea. Instead, she joined a group of women “computers,” charting the stars for a renowned astronomer who calculated projects in “girl hours” and had no time for the women’s theories. As Henrietta, in her free time, attempted to measure the light and distance of stars, she also had to take the measure of her own life on earth, trying to balance her dedication to science with family obligations and the possibility of love and marriage.

This true story explores a woman’s place in society during a time of immense scientific discovery, when women’s ideas were dismissed until men claimed credit for them. Social progress, like scientific progress, was difficult to envision when trapped within the constraints of society. Through their dedication and persistence, Henrietta and her female peers impacted both society and science and changed the way we understand the earth and the heavens.

Providence Players of Fairfax is:

  • A non-profit community theater troupe. All participation is on a volunteer basis. No members of the cast or crew are compensated.
  • A membership organization. Membership is not required to audition. If cast, all actors (and in fact, all volunteers), are required to become members of Providence Players of Fairfax ($25 per individual or $60 per family – three or more) for the season (if not already a member).

Casting Announcement

Providence Players is casting 5 roles (4 Female and 1 Male).  No roles are precast, and all roles are open.  All backgrounds and ethnicities are welcome and encouraged to audition! 

Download both documents: Audition Announcement and Audition Form (in word and pdf).

Audition Location

The James Lee Community Center Theater
2855 Annandale Rd.

Falls Church, VA 22042

Auditions will be held in the theater.

Audition Dates:

Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday December 6, 7 and 8, 2022

Auditions begin at 6:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 13 is dedicated to Callbacks – if required.

PLEASE RSVP to with the date you plan to attend.

Actors who audition one night may be asked to come back a second night, if available. You are not required to be available multiple evenings to be considered.

The Director reserves the right to extend the audition period pending initial audition response.

Performance Dates and Times (at the James Lee Community Crtr.)

Preview:     Thursday March 16 at 7:00 pm
Evening Performances:  Thurs. Fri. Sat.; March 17 – April 1 at 7:30 pm
Matinees:    Sundays, March 19 and March 26 at 2:00 pm

About the Play              

Time: 1900 – 1920
Leavitt Home – Wisconsin
The Harvard Observatory – office in Cambridge MA
Ocean liner – mid Atlantic
Henrietta’s home – Cambridge MA


  • Henrietta Leavitt (LEH-vit): 30s, brilliant, self-assured, meticulous, excited to be in Boston – almost always wearing a period hearing aid.
  • Margaret Leavitt: 30s, Henrietta’s sister – a sweet, creative, a homebody.
  • Peter Shaw: 30s, the head astronomy apprentice – thus very entitled – but awkward around Henrietta.
  • Annie Cannon: 40s, the leader of the “computers”, serious, terse but not unkind.
  • Williamina Fleming: 40 – 50s, originally from Scotland, smart as a whip but doesn’t take herself too seriously – fun.
  • Understudies – given the potential impact of flu and COVID – the casting of understudies is TBD.

Note: Margaret is musical – auditioners should be able to sing a hymn – and appear to play piano. For the audition, just a few bars of any popular hymn will do.

Note: Peter also needs to be able to join in a hymn so please be able to sing a few bars.

Additional Audition Information/Instructions:

  • HOW WE WORK:  Most Providence auditions have actors up and down to read multiple times in multiple combinations and scenes. Most actors find this fun. As space allows, you will be able to watch the auditions. You may be asked to go outside with audition partners and work a bit on a scene. We will do our best to get you up multiple times reading for parts you are interested in. You will also be asked to read for other parts you may not be auditioning for. The Providence Players strives to make our productions open to interested and engaged actors & actresses, regardless of their level of experience. We try to make our auditions as relaxing and fun as possible.
  • AUDITION PROCESS & SIDES: Auditions will consist of readings from the script. No monologue required. Sides for the audition process will be supplied at auditions.
  • AUDITION FORM:  Please TRY TO COMPLETE, in a separate attachment, the Providence Audition Form and bring it with you to the audition.
  • Please come to auditions prepared to list any availability conflicts with rehearsal or the performance schedule.  Space is provided on the audition form for this purpose.
  • You will have an opportunity to update conflict information once you have the Theater Access Schedule (see below). Resumes and headshots will be accepted but are not required. We may ask to take a picture of you, but this is for internal use only and will not be shared.

Additional Rehearsal Information/Instructions:

A copy of the Theater Access Schedule for this show will be distributed at auditions. This is NOT the specific rehearsal schedule, but it will give you an idea of the commitment you are making – rehearsal space and performance – and how to identify conflicts.  Unless indicated otherwise, all other rehearsals will happen at the James Lee Community Center. Rehearsals will be held in the evenings roughly from 6:30/6:45 to 9:45pm. and on Saturdays and Sundays as indicated.

  • In addition to the rehearsal schedule onstage, additional full cast readings of the play will take place in January – Dates and locations TBD.
  • A social gathering to pick up scripts will also be scheduled one evening in January – Date and location TBD.

About the Director: Tina Hodge Thronson

I have been an active member of the Providence Players for 25 years. Not only have I acted in numerous productions with Providence Players, but I have also had the good fortune to direct a very eclectic selection of plays. The list of plays includes Born Yesterday, Twelve Angry Men, The Man Who Came to Dinner, Dinner with Friends, Steel Magnolias, The Laramie Project, And Then There Were None and Other Desert Cities. Since I have a personal connection with astronomy and astronomers, I feel real delight at the prospect of bringing the passion and dedication of these astronomy pioneers to the stage in Silent Sky. My shows are noted for being fun to work on. I hope you will find the audition experience to be the same.  Cheers, Tina.

I/We look forward to seeing you at Auditions!