Fredonia theatre department presents historical drama ‘Radium Girls’

Doug Osborne-Coy
poster art for play Radium Girls, three women in working clothes, Theatre major, Department of Theatre and Dance

The Walter Gloor Mainstage Series continues as the Department of Theatre and Dance presents the historical drama “Radium Girls” from Dec. 1 to 4 in Bartlett Theatre.

Written by D.W. Gregory, “Radium Girls” is set in 1926, when radium was a miracle cure, Madame Marie Curie an international celebrity, and glow-in-the-dark watches the latest rage.

That was until the women who painted the watches began to fall ill.

Inspired by a true story, “Radium Girls” traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court seeking compensation for the suffering she and others suffered in the name of profit.

Director Daniel Lendzian of the Department of Theatre and Dance, said D.W. Gregory’s play is highly theatrical in nature.

three women cast members in working clothes
The cast includes (from left) Grace Lattanzio as Kathryn Schaub, Alice Khekt as Grace Fryer, and Felixcia Yeboah as Irene Rudolph.

“Realistic scenes are followed by scenes that comment on the time, place, and action of the story, and are shepherded by two reporter characters,” Lendzian said. “The shifts in time and tone allow the piece to comment on just treatment in the workplace, the relationship between shareholders and workers, commercialization, responsibility, the cost of justice, and the realization of the truth.”

The director said the play “provides incredible acting and design opportunities for our students.”

More than 60 students are involved in this Mainstage production.

“It features an incredible cast, playing over 30 roles. The designs for the piece are really incredible and the creativity used to create the production is second to none.” - Director Daniel Lendzian

“It features an incredible cast, playing over 30 roles,” Lendzian said. “The designs for the piece are really incredible and the creativity used to create the production is second to none.”

The director hopes audience will leave with “an appreciation for a historical event that would not have happened except for the brave women who stood up for worker’s rights.”

“I hope they consider that people’s ‘evil’ actions are often self-motivated, and they are blind to the hurt that they are causing to the world and others,” he said. “The only way to change is to see. I hope they celebrate of all of the education and training that the students receive at Fredonia, and enjoy ‘Radium Girls.’”

Performance times are 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 1; Friday, Dec. 2 and Saturday, Dec. 3, with 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday, Dec. 3 and Sunday, Dec. 4.

Tickets are available through the Campus Ticket Office, by phone at 716-673-3501 and online.

“Radium Girls” is presented through special arrangement with Dramatic Publishing Company.


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