Theatre Conspiracy production to benefit Calusa Nature Center

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Theatre Conspiracy at Alliance for the Arts presents The Women Who Mapped the Stars by Joyce Van Dyke and directed by Todd Sherman.
The cast includes Lauren Drexler, Shelley Sanders, Ellie Appelgren, Isabella Cintron and Stacy Stauffe.
Performances are Feb. 8 – 10 and Feb. 15 – 17 at 7:30 p.m., as well as Sunday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m. All performances are held at the Calusa Nature Center & Planetarium, 3450 Ortiz Ave, Fort Myers, as a fundraising event.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a group of women astronomers working at the Harvard College Observatory made discoveries that changed the way we saw the universe, helping to change the role of women in science. The Women Who Mapped the Stars is the story of five remarkable women, and the relay race of scientific inquiry between scientists and generations, toward ever greater light and truth.Van Dyke’s clever premise brings together five important women from two different periods in the history of the Harvard Observatory.
Beginning in 1881, Willamina Flemming, Henrietta Swan Leavitt , Annie Jump Cannon and Antonia Maury were key members on the team of “computers” which was under the direction of Edward Charles Pickering. Pickering is credited with leading the Harvard Observatory during its most active years, and the brilliant women at the center of this play were labeled, sadly, members of “Pickering’s Harem.”
Van Dyke’s story endeavors not only to tell this important story with accuracy and aplomb, but also to help us understand some of the science that these passionate women had mastered.
The Women Who Mapped the Stars, originally commissioned by Central Square Theater with early script development assistance from The Poets’ Theatre and Jessica Ernst, is the inaugural play in the Brit D’Arbeloff Women in Science Production Series.
Tickets are $27 for members, $32 for non-members and $14 for students with a valid ID. Tickets are available at ArtInLee.org or by calling 239-939-2787.

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