Theater opens season with ‘Radium Girls’


McNicholas High School’s theater program has prepared their fall play, Radium Girls, set to open Nov. 9.  Radium Girls, based on a true story, is “about the girls who painted clocks and dials with fluorescent paint,” Theater Director Teresa De Zarn said.

According to playwright D.W. Gregory’s website, the play takes place in 1926 and centers around watch and clock dial painters who worked at the U.S. Radium Corporation in New Jersey. The workers would dip their paintbrushes into the fluorescent paint made with radium, and in order to have a fine tip, they would lick the tips of the brushes, transferring the radium into their mouths. This resulted in radium poisoning, which caused the girls’ sickness and death.

The play follows Grace Fryer, a former dial painter, who fought to bring her employer, Arthur Roeder, to the courtroom. “I chose this play because of the climate that we live in,” De Zarn said. “It has a social justice theme to it.”

The leading roles include senior Jillian Sennett as Grace Fryer and senior Sam Veeneman as Arthur Roeder. De Zarn said it’s an important play for all to see because “we don’t learn this in history class.” “A lot of these characters are real people. This is a very important story that we are telling,” said Veeneman.

Opening night is on Nov. 9 at 7 p.m., with performances following on Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m., Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m., and Nov. 12 at 1 p.m., all in the Jeanne Spurlock Theater.

Tickets cost $12, and are available for purchase by clicking here.

Radium Girls (2)
Seniors Sam Veeneman and Jillian Sennett practice their scenes in preparation for McNicholas Theater’s fall play Radium Girls. The play opens on Nov. 9 and runs through Nov. 12.

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