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. 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 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. A historic moment that is often forgotten, Marzalek-Kelly’s glamorous and glowing production draws attention to the women of this moment.
Written with warmth and humor, Radium Girls is a fast-moving, highly theatrical ensemble piece. 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.
Directed by Rebecca Marzalek-Kelly
Scenic: Garret E. Wilson
Lighting: Jared Klein
Costumes: Patty Pawliczak
Sound: August Sylvester
Props: Jessie Blackman
Dramaturg: Coco McNeil
Assistant Directors: Eliza Martin and Hanna Yurfest
Stage Manager: Eve Gertzman