Two male art students consider a piece of art with their professor.

Radium Girls

Radium Girls (Poster with a female figure in front of a clock)

By: D.W. Gregory 

Performance Times: April 2-4 and 16-19, 2020

Based on real events unfolding in the 1920s, the play tells the stories of young women employed in the watch factories featuring timepieces with the newly popular luminous dials. Marie Curie had become an international celebrity with her discovery of the element radium, which seemed to be a miracle cure of cancerous tumors and held other promising scientific properties. The glow-in-the-dark watch faces are popular and fashionable, and the women hold well-paying positions. All seems to be pointing to hopeful futures for the women, but soon they begin to fall ill with a mysterious illness which has terrifying symptoms. The play is inspired by Grace Fryer, herself a dial painter, whose efforts to fight for her day in court are blocked by her idealistic former employer who cannot bring himself to believe the same element which shrinks tumors can possibly be causing the suffering of his employees. The play calls into focus issues of corporate responsibility and environmental safety, which are just as important today.