Comet Hunter

Comet Hunter is a magical play based on the courageous and moving life of the first recognized woman astronomer in history, Caroline Herschel. Born in 1750 in Hanover, Germany, Caroline followed her brother William, the celebrated astronomer, to England when she was twenty-two.

Play title:  Comet Hunter

Author (s):  Chiori Miyagawa

Publisher:  Seagull Books

Publication Date: 2003

Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Astronomy

Secondary Discipline: Cosmology

Scientist (s):

Caroline Herschel: The first recognized woman astronomer who discovered eight comets and several astronomical objects during her lifetime, including the second companion to the Andromeda galaxy. Yet she was not inducted as an honorary member into the Royal Historical Society of Astronomy until 1835, and was, even then, only one of two women inducted.

William Herschel: British astronomer who discovered the planet Uranus. Caroline Herschel’s brother.

Source Texts: Unknown

Character Breakdown:

4 Women, 1 Man

Time, Caroline Herschel, William Herschel, Mother, Mary

Setting:

Hanover, Germany

Bath England

Slough, England

Time Period: 1172 to 1822 CE

Synopsis of Play:

Comet Hunter is a magical play based on the courageous and moving life of the first recognized woman astronomer in history, Caroline Herschel. Born in 1750 in Hanover, Germany, Caroline followed her brother William, the celebrated astronomer, to England when she was twenty-two. She was a strange looking woman, her growth stunted at age twelve from typhus. She devoted her life to assisting her brother and never married. The play is a story about a brother and a sister who share the celestial enchantment, and major breakthroughs that Caroline made in the field of astronomy, conquering societal prejudice and her own loneliness. She is guided by a prophet, a woman, who is “Time,” who makes hope for the future and healing of memories possible. http://newdramatists.org/chiori-miyagawa/comet-hunter

First Performance Date: May 3rd, 2004

First Producer: Ensemble Studio Theater and Alfred P. Sloane Science and Technology Foundation

Performance History:  Comet Hunter by Chiori Miyagawa had a public reading May 3rd, 2004 and was directed by Richard Corley of the Madison Repertory Theatre. The Ensemble Studio Theatre and Alfred P. Sloan Science and Technology Project commissioned the play. It was presented by the Madison Repertory Theatre and the UW–Madison department of Theatre and Drama.

Links:

http://chiorimiyagawa.info/plays/

https://news.wisc.edu/public-invited-to-reading-of-play-about-female-astronomer/

Entered by: Meaghan Yesford

Photo/Visual Research with citations

                                                             

Caroline Herschel by: Joseph Brown                            Caroline Herschel                                                          William Herschel

 

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