Theater actress Caisa Borromeo likes to get out of her comfort zone

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Caissa Borromeo as Margaret Leavitt, her character in Repertory Philippines' production of 'Silent Sky.'

Just five months after playing Sheila Franklin in Repertory Philippines’ production of the hit rock musical “Hair,” Caisa Borromeo returns on the Rep stage as Margaret Leavitt in Lauren Gunderson’s acclaimed play, “Silent Sky.”

For the seasoned actress who practically started her theater career with Rep, portraying the traditional and conservative Margaret in “Silent Sky” is a refreshing departure from the free-spirited militant activist that Sheila was in “Hair.”

“I enjoy the challenge of doing something out of my comfort zone and playing these two characters that are so completely different from each other,” Caisa told InterAksyon during the recent open rehearsals of her current project.

“Silent Sky” is based on the true story of early 20th century astronomer Henrietta Swan Leavitt (played by Cathy Azanza) who together with a group of female scientists worked as a “computer” or data entry clerk (think “Hidden Figures”) at Harvard Observatory College.

Despite women being forbidden from using the observatory’s telescope, this brilliant but unsung pioneer made astonishing discoveries as she mapped the distance between the stars, the earth, and other galaxies.

Caisa is thrilled to be part of a production that takes on a newfound relevance in the #MeToo era.

“What I love about Silent Sky is that it captures a lot of different themes and highlights a lot of female empowerment. It was set during a time when women were not really expected to work, when women were just supposed to get married and have babies,” she noted.

“There’s nothing wrong with the traditional idea of women staying at home and having a family. But I think what’s nice about the script is that it highlights all the female characters as powerful and accomplished women who supported each other.”

One highlight of “Silent Sky” is the intriguing relationship of sisters Henrietta and Margaret who happen to have opposing views on science and religion.

“My character Margaret believes in God and the Bible. Her values are all about faith. Henrietta, on the other hand, is more about science and fact and discovering truth and seeing things to believe them. They are sisters who lead very different lives but love each other just the same.”

Caisa says the most fascinating about “Silent Sky” is the way the women characters, which also include Annie Cannon (Sheila Francisco) and Willamina Fleming (Naths Everette) connect to each other.

“It’s really beautiful how they help each other, what they do for each other,” she quipped.

Directed by Joy Virata and also featuring Topper Fabregas as Henrietta’s love interest Dr. Peter Shaw, “Silent Sky” will run from March 2 to 25 at Onstage, Greenbelt 1, Ayala Center in Makati City. For ticket information, visit www.ticketworld.com.ph.