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Ursinus Theater presents “Radium Girls”

In the spirit of the Department of Theater’s 2018-19 season theme of truth, D. W. Gregory’s Radium Girls examines what determined people can accomplish when they speak truth to power in the pursuit of justice.

Performances are in the Blackbox Studio Theater in the Kaleidoscope Performing Arts Center on Thursday, November 1 at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, November 2 at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday, November 3 at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, November 4 at 2 p.m.

Note: Performances are now sold out.

Radium Girls chronicles events between 1918 and 1928 when radium was considered a miracle cure, but the women painting the luminous watch dials were falling ill. The production follows Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights the U.S. Radium Corporation responsible for poisoning its employees. The production is directed by Meghan Brodie, an assistant professor of theater, who was struck by how timely this story remains. 

“Nearly a century later many are still struggling as a result of corporate greed, fighting for affordable healthcare and workplace safety, and trying to speak truth to power,” Brodie says. “I am eager to collaborate with students to bring this important chapter of American history to the stage and begin a conversation with audiences about the story’s relevancy today.” 

The cast is comprised of several first-year students and some faces that may be familiar to Ursinus audiences. On working with the cast, Brodie notes that “the play presents the actors with unusual opportunities because most of the characters have real life counterparts whose lives have been chronicled in books or newspaper articles. The actors are researching the characters they play and in doing so, gaining a better understanding of the injustices that were committed to preserve the shareholders’ wealth rather than young women’s lives.”

Brodie is being joined by a seasoned group of professional designers who have collaborated on Ursinus productions in the past. Meghan Jones, the college’s technical director, designed the set; Millie Hiibel designed costumes; and Shannon Zura designed lighting and sound.

There will be a post-show discussion with the director and actors following the 7:30 p.m. performance on Friday, November 2, open to anyone interested in attending.

Tickets are $8 for the general public and $5 for seniors and students. Tickets can be purchased online at ursinus.edu/tickets and they will be available at the box office before the show. For inquiries, please contact boxoffice@ursinus.edu or (610) 409-3030. —By Taylor Manferdini ’13