Encore Michigan

Wild Swan to present ‘Coding to the Moon: Margaret Hamilton and the Apollo Missions’

Show Announcement March 04, 2020

ANN ARBOR, Mich.–Award-winning, Ann Arbor-based Wild Swan Theater has been making inclusive theater that enchants and enthralls for forty years. The award-winning theater’s production of Coding to the Moon: Margaret Hamilton and the Apollo Missions premieres from March 4-7, 2020 at Towsley Auditorium, Washtenaw Community College.

This original production, written and directed by Wild Swan Co-Artistic Director Hilary Cohen, celebrates the life and work of mathematician and pioneer computer scientist, Margaret Hamilton. It features her brilliant work as a young NASA scientist who broke new ground as she led the team that built the navigation systems for the Apollo missions to the moon. The early scenes of the play are set in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where Hamilton spent her childhood; the later scenes at MIT’s Instrumentation Lab where Hamilton and her colleagues built and programmed the Apollo Guidance Computer and laid the groundwork for much of today’s modern computing. The play is a gripping drama of the daring and risk taking involved in the space missions and how Hamilton’s team averted last minute disasters during the flights of Apollo 8 and Apollo 11.

Aimed at students in grades 4-12, Coding to the Moon: Margaret Hamilton and the Apollo Missions is a collaboration with the Michigan Science Center, Leslie Nature & Science Center, Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum, and the UM Museum of Natural History. Each will be developing and offering complementary enrichment activities. This play will be added to our touring repertoire and will travel to the Michigan Science Center from March 12-14, the MSU Science Festival on April 4, and other schools and theaters in southeast Michigan.

The first American woman in space, Sally Ride, reminds us that, Young girls need to see role models in whatever career they may choose, just so they can picture themselves doing those jobs someday. You can’t be what you can’t see. With the support of the Buhr Foundation, Detroit Auto Dealers Association Charitable Fund of the Community Foundation for Southeast Michigan, Ford Motor Company Fund, James A. and Faith Knight Foundation, Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs, Michigan Humanities, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the National Endowment for the Arts,we are excited to make theater that tells stories that can provide positive role models, challenge stereotypes, and give a more inclusive picture of the nature of work in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics fields.

Tickets for this show can be purchased at www.wildswantheater.org or over the phone at 734-995-0530.

Wild Swan Theater is dedicated to producing professional children’s theater of the highest artistic quality and to making that theater accessible to everyone including accessible to everyone, regardless of ability or economic status, through lowered ticket prices and innovative outreach programs. For more information about the company, its current season, touring programs and drama camps, visit the www.wildswantheater.org. For interviews, contact Patricia Kowalski at (734) 995-0530.