“Radium Girls” play preview

Every year the theater program puts on an annual fall play. This year the play is “Radium Girls.” It is a nonfiction story of a group of working class women becoming fatally ill while working in an environment exposed to radium, and the fight against the courts for their rights. 

Nathan Shewell, the director of the theater program, has been teaching theater at NC for seven years and has over 20 years of overall experience. Shewell’s main goal for the “Radium Girls” is to bring attention to the experiences the women went through.

 “[I want] to bring awareness of what happened to the girls because it still goes on today,” Shewell said. 

This is the first nonfiction production by the performing arts department in about five years and first time “Radium Girls” will be performed. 

There are sixteen actors involved, including lead actors Lola Fisher and Jack Milton. Fisher plays Grace Fryer, a girl working in the factory in New Jersey.  She believes the show will be unique this year due to the present idea of feminism and how common it is today. 

“It connects problems being talked about in today’s society to a different era and society,” Fisher said. 

Fisher is excited for the costuming due to the play taking place in the 1920s, and she is thrilled to see how the costumes play out onstage. 

Milton plays Arthur Roeder, president of the U.S. Radium Corporation. He believes “Radium Girls” is unlike previous productions he has been involved in. 

“The themes of Radium Girls are more serious than those of any other show I’ve done here. And although we always try to find the comedic moments in this script–of which there are plenty–overall, it’s a rather morbid drama,” Milton said.

However, even though the themes are rather melancholy and gruesome, Milton enjoys how the story lifts up the unknown story, proving perseverance gives a voice to the voiceless. 

He sometimes stresses over his prominent role in the play but will be ready once it comes time to perform.

“[It’s stressful] having the weight of being a lead hanging at your shoulders though nothing excites him more than opening night,” Milton said.

“Radium Girls” will be performed on September 6 at 7 p.m. and September 7 at 2 and 7 p.m. in the auditorium.

-Sophia Grueninger

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