SUMMIT, NJ - The Kent Place Upper School Theater Department is set to present the Radium Girls November 15 and 16, at 7:30 p.m. each evening, in the school’s Hyde and Watson Theatre. The play is open to the public and admission is free.
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. 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.
“When choosing my first play to direct at Kent Place I knew it needed to be thought-provoking and relevant, and resonate with the students on many levels,” said Mary Walden, Upper School Theater Teacher. “Radium Girls has been that and much more.”
The Radium Girls cast includes Lizzie Beckett ’21, Leah Cohn ’22, Quinn Correa ’21, Gabriella DePlasco ’22, Addysen Downey ’23, Lilly Fanelle ’23, Whitney Gordon ’21, Ellie Hegeman ’22, Nyatché Martha ’21, Sekai Marques ’23, Veronica Melendi ’23, Alayo Oloko ’21, Kathryn Tucker ‘22, and Sadie Zeiner-Morrish ’22. The Radium Girls crew includes Kelsa McKern ’22 (props and costumes), Julia Gerbino ’21 (set design), and Riley Wagner ’21 (lighting).
Upper School Theater Teacher Mary Walden serves as director with set and lighting design by Theater Technical Assistant Danni Newbury.
Due to mature themes about death, the suggested audience age for Radium Girls is 11 and up.
Kent Place School is located at 42 Norwood Avenue.