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Women Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe

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We are raising money for the world premiere of The Women Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe, a new physical theater piece created by Ellie Levine and written by Daisy Garrison. Below you will find more information about this production. Thank you for your generosity!

Synopsis

The Harvard Computers worked by daylight at the observatory, studying photographic plates of the night sky. This play follows Annie Jump Cannon and Henrietta Leavitt through their groundbreaking discoveries that changed the field of astronomy and shaped how we understand the universe. This performance brings the science of space to life through movement, music, and light. A celebration of friendship, curiosity, and the never-ending search to find our place in the universe.

History of the Project
A Note from the Director

This piece emerged from my desire to create a physical theatre performance that could bring scientific concepts to life onstage through visual storytelling. I began researching historical women in the sciences and I became enamored with the Harvard Computers. I collected research, narrowing in on Annie Jump Cannon and Henrietta Leavitt, and began initial explorations of staging during an apprenticeship with The Orchard Project, an artistic development laboratory, in 2018.

Following this preliminary experimentation, the show was developed as an independent project at Northwestern University. I assembled a group of six actors, a playwright, and a producer to embark on a six-month process to bring this story to life. We began by diving into research: reading journal entries from Annie Jump Cannon, speaking with astrophysicists about scientific concepts and examining images of the same photographic plates that the Harvard Computers studied. The story came into focus as we developed the movement and text in tandem.

The show was set to be performed under the telescope in the Dearborn Observatory in June of 2020. Unfortunately, this production had to be canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but work continued remotely and we had a virtual read-through of the final script.

Now, nearly 5 years after the initial development began, we are thrilled to be bringing this show to Chicago. The Women Who Discovered How to Measure the Universe will be performed at Raven Theater in Edgewater, Chicago June 22nd-July 2nd 2023.

Fundraising

We are deeply grateful to our initial individual and corporate donors who have kickstarted our fundraising campaign. Now we are reaching out to our community to help us reach our goal. Your donation will support our young theater company in this exciting endeavor.

Funds will go towards paying the artists on our team fairly for their craft. We firmly believe that labors of love do not require any less labor.

Funds will go towards accessibility services for our artists and audiences. The two women at the center of our story were hearing aid users and we will be providing access services to support our artists in rehearsals and make our performances accessible.

Funds will go towards bringing the text to life through the vision of our design team. This includes costumes, lights, set and an original musical score.
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Donations 

  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 11 mos
  • Anonymous
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • laurie sachtleben
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • David Walker
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Anonymous
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
Donate

Organizer

Ellie Levine
Organizer
Chicago, IL

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