Commanding Space 

By Stephanie Leary
Directed by Joann Yarrow


"When people have their biases and prejudices, yes, I am aware. My head is not in the sand. But my thing is, if I can’t work with you, I will work around you. I was not about to be discouraged that I’d walk away. That may be a solution for some people, but it’s not mine.”

Spoken by Annie Easley, those words defined how a young African American woman worked to break gender and color boundaries while excelling for 34 years in a field dominated by white men. Easley was a ground-breaking rocket scientist, mathematician, and computer engineer who worked on the Centaur rocket project and early versions of batteries for hybrid vehicles.

In the midst of the Civil Rights Movement, young Annie Easley knows she can be something more. In this true story of dreams, hardships, and self-determination, Annie becomes one of the first African American human computers at NASA. Initially working on airplanes, she soon realizes her destiny is to be on the team of mathematicians that launch the Centaur Rocket into the Space Race. Commanding Space is an important story about a persistent and intelligent woman whose desire to succeed in science and technology proved stronger than the prejudice that would have denied her.
Through June 30, 2022, the Backstory Program is a 1 hour streaming package that includes the performance and a comprehensive study guide. Enthrall your students with an engaging one woman show, fully produced for a virtual medium that features creative use of vintage technology and a captivating story. 

For national booking information contact:

Shaw Entertainment Group

Simon Shaw
Sherri Leathers

For Central New York booking only:

24 hour access - $250
48 hour access - $500
1 week access - $750
(All prices are for K - 12 Public Schools. For other organizations, prices can be discussed.)

Theorri London, Community Engagement and Education Coordinator

"Our 150 students were totally engaged during the entire one hour performance and had so many questions and comments after that the teachers had to ask the Backstory actor and director to stop taking questions because the students needed to return to class!"

- Maureen Gilroy, Educator (Fall Creek Elementary School)



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Call Group Services at 315-443-9844 for groups of 10 or more.