Chaos Attraction

Silent Sky

2017-12-09, 10:24 a.m.

Yesterday I briefly went to the Craft Center party, but ever since they started having a swap party instead of the staff auction I have not been too into it. What if nobody has anything I want and wants to trade with me or vice versa? Awkward! Also, I am about out of "stuff I don't want" except some ceramics I don't think anyone would want, Also, I spent most of the party texting with Jackie, who was canceling our get together because she got sick and hoo boy, she was feeling bad about that. I was all, "it's okay! I'll see you on another weekend!"

After that I left to go see Silent Sky, (seriously, this tumblr about the play is excellent) about an astronomer named Henrietta Leavitt. "Hidden Figures for astronomy" is uh...a pretty good analogy for the play, really. Henrietta is a diehard science girl who gets hired to work at Harvard as a "computer" (same thing as Hidden Figures) along with two other badass ladies who should have gotten more attention as well.
The professor they worked for (who's not in the play) decided that hiring his Scottish housekeeper, Wilhemina, to do the job would still be better than the dudes he'd been working with, so after that he just hired ladies...who got called "harem." Henrietta is all, "I got hired to be in a math harem?!" The other lady, Annie, is a suffragette badass and is standoffish but smart and loyal. Both women are cool beans.

Meanwhile, Henrietta goes back and forth with her sister Margie, a lady who chose to stay at home and have a family and take care of dad and play the piano. Margie can be a bit annoyed when Henrietta doesn't come home to visit or write much, and when Henrietta does go home it derails both her career and the vaguely budding love life she might have had.

I wasn't sure what to make of the lone dude in the play, Peter Shaw. He seems to represent all kinds of dudes, from not being super into ladies working in science (to some degree) to being impressed by Henrietta professionally and personally. He's a bit of a pontificator, and a daddy's boy because apparently he just does whatever daddy wants, like work in astronomy or marry someone else (absence in his case did not make the heart grow fonder). But in the end he does seem to be a friend to Henrietta.

At the end, Henrietta comes down with vague "probably cancer" disease that isn't spelled out, which frustratingly prevents her from doing her work. But her legacy lived on, so that's a nice thing even if she didn't live long enough to get a Nobel nomination.

Favorite quote from the play: “You asked God a question and he answered. That’s the meaning of meaning for most of us.”

I will say that as a person who's always been interested in deafness/ASL, Henrietta's not exactly written/played like she is deaf though. (Note: another one of her coworkers was also deaf in real life, which the play doesn't show.) While she's got this hearing aid setup of headphones/brooch/wired/battery pack on almost all of the time, I couldn't help but notice that she never has issues hearing anything (for example, her sister's music, which inspires her at one point to realize the distances between stars), such as conversations across the room when she can't see them. Just a little nitpick there.

But overall, it was a very cool show and I am sorry my scene partner didn't show. She would have liked it. I find it odd that she wants me to text her and then she never texts back...I will probably never see her again, which sucks. There's two people right now who have recently left the circumstances I met them under and I fear without said circumstances, we may not be able to maintain the connection. Bleah on that, but if you don't write back...

The theater was in an... interesting...area though. There wasn't anyone really around there so I didn't feel like anyone was going to get me or anything, but it seemed dicey somehow. I vaguely think I have gone to another show of this company's before, but maybe they moved location or something, because I remember the stage setup but not this area. Oh well, still got home safe anyway.

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