Bright Star at New Plymouth Little Theatre
The New Plymouth Little Theatre is putting on a big bang of a show from July 13 to 23 with its newest production, Bright Star.
New Zealand playwright Stuart Hoar's play was based on the life of Beatrice Tinsley, the ground-breaking astronomer who grew up in New Plymouth and was educated at Girls' High.
Tinsley's work is honoured by scientists and her discoveries are taught in schools around the globe.
She turned our world of astronomy on its head and no one has since yet stepped up to her level, director Heather Harrison said.
"Members of the community would know her through school, as a girl guide, or perhaps in the two years she played first violin with the National Youth Orchestra," Harrison said.
"Her battle for recognition came at great personal cost and, despite her ultimate success in her chosen field, she is possibly the most under-celebrated genius this country has seen. Outside the scientific world she is virtually unknown. This is an absorbing play and a reminder of her place in the universe.
"She understood the mysteries of black holes, dark matter, and the Big Bang and her theory that the cosmos was open and expanding towards extinction was dismissed in the conservative, male-dominated world of astronomy in the 1960s."
The production depicts her struggle for acceptance in the mid 70s when the offer of an associate professorship at Yale forces her to choose between family and intellectual passion.
Tickets are available for $25 at https://www.littletheatre.co.nz/bright-star/