Radium Girls; March 18-20

When: March 18-19 at 7 P.M. & 2 P.M.

Cost: FREE! If you would like to donate, any donations received go to the Spotlight Program to continue funding more projects both on and off the stage.

In 1926, radium was not only a miracle cure for cancer – it was a sign of high society. Its glowing properties were used in paints that brought fashion to the next level. 

It was also, for some, a death sentence.

“Radium Girls” were female factory workers who contracted radiation poisoning from painting watch dials with this self-luminous paint. After being told that the paint was harmless, women working in watch factories ingested deadly amounts of radium after being instructed to “point” their brushes on their lips in order to give them a fine tip. Some also painted their fingernails, face and teeth with the glowing substance.

Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her former boss, Arthur Roeder, is an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of 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. 

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.