Eastport Arts Center will host the University of Southern Maine theater department’s touring production The Women Who Mapped the Stars on Friday, April 8. Two daytime performances for local school children will be followed by an evening performance, open to the public, at 7 pm. The theater group’s visit will conclude by working with EAC’s Children’s Theater Workshop during their Saturday morning session. 

“Sarah Bartlett is the person in their department who suggested that the Eastport area would love to have [the USM theater] visit,” noted EAC Education & Outreach Coordinator Alison Brennan. “We are grateful for her involvement in bringing this wonderful show to us.” Bartlett, a Shead High School graduate in her second year at USM, has been affectionately nicknamed ‘Sage’ by theater pals due to many Sarahs, including a professor, in the department. She participated in EAC’s Children’s Theater Workshop, and also performed with Shead’s Mixed Nuts on the EAC stage; she is currently at work on the set for The Women Who Mapped the Stars. Her parents, Connie Knight and Chris Bartlett live in Eastport.

The 50-minute theatre production, written by Boston-based playwright, Joyce Van Dyke, tells the inspiring stories of five women astronomers who worked at the Harvard College Observatory between the late 1880s and mid-20th Century. The play not only brings to light the unprecedented accomplishments of these early pioneers of astronomy and astrophysics, but also sheds light on the many obstacles and challenges faced by women during this time as they fought for equal rights and recognition. It is not only a moving tribute to all women of science, but also an encouraging reminder for all of us to never give up on our dreams. 

Best enjoyed by grades 6 and up, this production, featuring current undergraduate theatre students from the University of Southern Maine, will remind all audiences of the accomplishment that is possible when we look to our role models who had the courage to pursue their passions, and thereby paved the way for us to do the same.

The performance will be presented by donation. Eastport Arts Center is at 36 Washington Street, Eastport and eastportartscenter.org, and is handicapped-accessible. EAC abides by State of Maine CDC COVID guidelines. Additionally, at this time, patrons are required to wear masks when in the EAC building.