Calling All “Star Seekers” – A “Stem to Steam” Contest

The 6th Street Playhouse has a mission to connect with our audience and with the community through performing arts and through education, and right now we have a fantastic opportunity to make this happen! This coming spring, we are hosting the Star Seeker Project. Through the month of April 2016, the Star Seekers will be transforming STEM to STEAM – brilliantly changing Science-Technology-Engineering-Math to include ART! This high profile event celebrating the work of women scientists will bring our community together like nothing else we’ve ever seen in Sonoma County.

Women in the sciences at the turn of the 19th century did not get much recognition for their work – a situation that continues to this day. Have you ever heard of Henrietta Swan Leavitt? Henrietta discovered the period-luminosity relationship which allowed astronomers to measure the distance between Earth and faraway galaxies. 6th Street Playhouse will be honoring Henrietta when Lauren Gunderson’s play Silent Sky opens on April 1st. When Silent Sky first opened at South Coast Rep in 2011, rave reviews called it “sheer magic” and that is just what we expect to happen at 6th Street this spring.

But that is not all – there is more!

So much more!Before the end of 2015, an invitation will be sent to all thirty-three middle schools in Sonoma County. We are inviting middle-school students to submit, by March 12th, art projects that are inspired by significant work done by women in the STEM fields.

Examples? Paint the dreams of Madame Curie! Choreograph a dance to illustrate Martha Coston engineering the signal flares still used today by the US Navy! Perform an original monologue about the creative process that Ada Lovelace used to write the very first computer program! These are just a few examples of possible projects.

Three submissions from each middle school may be entered into the Star Seeker competition to be judged by a select group of community leaders at an adjudication social, hosted by the Playhouse. Each of the three top winners will receive an award to honor their contribution, and seven others will get honorable mentions.

On April 1st we will host an artists’ reception and the opening of the art show. The winning art will all be prominently displayed at the Playhouse during the complete run of the play.

Even more exciting news: Lauren Gunderson, the playwright of Silent Sky, has generously agreed to come speak at a special playwright event where she will share her stories with the audience. Lauren is an award winning, nationally known playwright, screenwriter and short story author who has spoken nationally and internationally on the intersection of science and theatre. The New Yorker, reviewing her play commissioned by the San Francisco Playhouse said, “…beautifully written… brings the audience to tears.”

The month of April will be an exciting time at 6th Street and we hope you will join us in honoring the collaboration of science, art, and the often unsung heroines who gave and continue to give so much to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We honor them in the way we know best: through ART!

Jared Sakren – Executive Director
6th Street Playhouse

Contact Emily Winfield at (707) 527-7422 or

Official Rules and Official Entry Forms available online here





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