Photos from "Star Stories" - A mythology / theater / astronomy mash-up

Aug 18

Written by:
8/18/2014 4:05 PM  RssIcon

On August 2, 2014, members of the Kankakee Area Stargazers, the Kankakee Valley Theater Association, other members of the community, artist-in-residence for Kankakee Brandi Burgess and I put together a show for about 55 audience members at the Willowhaven Interpretive Center east of the Kankakee / Bradley / Bourbonnais area. See this previous blog post for information about the event; see pictures below for some fun scenes from that night.  

The program ran 45 minutes, and amateur astronomers plus about half the crowd stayed for another hour and fifteen minutes to look at Saturn, Mars, the Moon and some other objects through a couple of telescopes that were brought by a couple members of the Kankakee Area Stargazers. Below are few photos from this theater-astronomy-mythology-outreach event. 

Brandi Burgess and David Fuller welcome the audience to Star Stories

Brandi Burgess and David Fuller welcome the audience to the first-ever "Star Stories" at Willowhaven Interpretive Center.

Hera mad at Zeus about Arcas born to Callisto in Star Stories

Zeus gets taken to task by Hera for conceiving Arcas with Callisto. This was part of the mythological narrative used to tell the story of how Ursa Major and Ursa Minor were placed in the sky.

Constellations being pointed out after each skit at Star Stories

After each mythological skit was acted out, an amateur astronomer pointed out the corresponding constellations in the sky. Despite fighting the parking lot light and some high cirrus clouds, the audience was able to identify most of the stars relating to each story.

In our Star Stories narrative, Hercules is seen fighting Leo the Lion

In this scene, Hercules is fighting the Nemean Lion, the first of his Twelve Labors. The lion is represented in the sky by Leo the Lion, the one constellation we couldn't view well that evening due to Leo having partially set for the evening.

Hercules tricks Atlas into holding the celestial spheres again

Hercules tricks Atlas into supporting the celestial spheres again, and takes off with the Golden Apples of Hesperides, completing his Twelve Labors.

Mythology narrator photobombs Cepheus, Cassiopeia and Andromeda

The narrator photobombs Cepheus, Cassiopeia and Andromeda as they attempt to take a "royal selfie."

Persues saves Andromeda from Cetus

Perseus the Hero saves the chained princess Andromeda from Cetus the Sea Monster during the Star Stories finale. 

The cast of

The cast of Star Stories takes a final bow under the parking lot lights. Overall, a great success!

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The Nightlight

This blog includes what to see in the night and daytime skies, thoughts on telescopes, binoculars, and other astronomy observing accessories and equipment, plus my own occasional notes on objects I've seen and observed. Oh, and the random theater or other "my take on life" post. In other words, there is always something interesting. Check it out.