‘Radium Girls’ radiates to the stage


Senior Jane Henderson and other cast members reherse an intense scene in the play ‘Radium Girls.’ The fall play will be preformed on Nov. 21-23.

Charlotte Turner, Features Editor

This November, the play “Radium Girls” will be presented by the Reagan Drama Club. The historical play is based on the true story of young factory girls who used radium paint to cover watch faces.

“They painted the dial faces with radium paint so they would glow in the dark for soldiers,” said theater teacher Jenn Janus. “They painted it with radium because at the time we  thought radium cured cancer and so it must be good for us.”

The play will be performed on Nov 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. and then Nov 23 at 3 p.m. The tickets will be sold for $5 in advance and $7 at the door.

“Radium Girls” focuses on the struggles that the 15-year-old factory workers face as they get sick from the radium and try to find compensation and figure out their lives. Parts of their bodies began to rot away due to the radium.

The premise of the play is a young girl named Grace who works at a radium plant in New England. Mr. Roeder, the president of the company, Tom, Grace’s boyfriend and other watch painters star in the play.

Senior Jane Henderson plays the main character Grace. This is the first play that Jane has ever starred in.

“I’m very excited for a different type of play,” said co-stage manager Madison Hepler. “The play will be on a more darker subject than other plays we have performed.”

The fall play is a heavier show compared to others in the Drama Club’s past. The historical story deals with the health effects of working with radium paint.

“I love the fact that it is historical and that it ties into curriculum that students are studying with english, history and even some business aspects,” Janus said.

 Different special effects makeup will be used in the play to mimic the deformed body parts of the girls. Plays and musicals in the past have never really used special effects makeup the way it will be used in “Radium Girls.”

“As a special effects artist, it’s really fun for me to go there with the injuries they acquired,” Janus said.

Janus is also excited to talk about how things that are ethical now, might not be viewed as ethical in the future. During the time period in the play, radium paint was not seen as harmful or dangerous.

“You never know how much research really goes into the trends of today’s world,” Janus said.