Class of 2019 Presents Radium Girls
May 29 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court, and for her life. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. This is a tale of Grace’s empowerment. Written with warmth and humor, Radium Girls is a fast-moving, highly theatrical ensemble piece for 10 actors, who play more than 30 parts—friends, co-workers, lovers, relatives, attorneys, scientists, consumer advocates, and myriad interested bystanders. Called a “powerful” and “engrossing” drama by critics, Radium Girls offers a wry, unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsessions with health, wealth, and the commercialization of science.
“Radium Girls is a powerful, moving drama made even more powerful by the fact that it is a true story. Like Upton Sinclair’s landmark novel, The Jungle, Radium Girls reveals a terrible chapter in the history of American capitalism and the consequences suffered by its unknowing victims.Many current laws regarding workplace safety, corporate liability, and statutes of limitations are a direct result of the these women’s fight against the radium corporations in the 1920’s and 1930’s.
The show will be performed by the Class of 2019 in an open dress rehearsal on Monday, May 27 at 7:00 pm, a daytime performance on Tuesday, May 28 (time still to be determined), and evening performances at 7:00 pm on Wednesday and Thursday, May 29 and 30. The play will make you mad at the corporate, medical and legal injustices the radium girls have to overcome, but will make you cheer the human spirit that drives them on.
David Barham, Director