Today I went to South Coast Rep theater and saw a new play. I think it was a world premiere. It's called Silent Sky, and I am so glad I went to see it today, despite not being able to find my ticket. I have an educator's subscription, so I called up and asked if I could get a replacement ticket for free, and I did!
The play was a period piece about an astronomer named Henrietta Leavitt who lived early in the 20th century, about when Einstein was making his first arguments about relativity.
She was educated at Radcliffe, but couldn't get to use the telescope at Harvard or receive a faculty position anywhere because of her gender. But she was brilliant and determined, and too young to give up, so she managed to discover a method of locating stars in space by the frequency of their light, and it was through her discovery that astronomers learned there were other galaxies beyond our own.
She got very ill, and I think probably died early, but at the last, she got some recognition for her work, according to the play anyhow. I want to learn more about her because the play is about anyone who aspires to do something beyond the everyday, and how "real life" and this work often seem impossible to fit together, particularly for women.