SUMMIT, NJ - The Summit High School Performing Arts Department will present Radium Girls as its fall play, with performances set for October 21-24 -- at 7 p.m. each evening -- outdoors in the school's Media Center courtyard. The October 23 performance will also be livestreamed.

Radium Girls is based on the true story of young female dial painters set in the U.S. Radium factory in Orange, in the 1920’s. First discovered in the early 1900’s, radium was initially viewed as a miracle cure for everything from cancer to asthma, but one of its most popular uses was in a luminescent paint applied to the dials of watches and clocks to make them glow in the dark. The young dial painters were instructed to dip their brushes in the paint, then touch the brush to their lips to achieve a fine point, thus ingesting small doses of radium all day. Hundreds of the painters suffered serious health issues and 50 died from the effects of radium poisoning.

The play centers around one of the dial painters, Grace Fryer, who struggles to find the cause of a mysterious disease afflicting her and other girls who worked in the factory. For a decade, Grace fought for her day in court and justice for the workers.

Sign Up for Summit Newsletter
Our newsletter delivers the local news that you can trust.

Anne Poyner, the play's director, says, “The play is a beautiful, warm, moving, theatrical ensemble piece, but it is also a very powerful historical story that examines a variety of issues like corporate greed and corruption and industrial safety standards, as well as the empowerment of women in the workplace.” 

Tickets, priced at $13 for students and seniors; $15 for adults; and $10 for the link to the October 23 livestream, are available by visiting Showtix4U.com. Chairs will be socially distanced and Hilltopper Stage Productions blankets and masks will be sold. The play's content has been deemed appropriate for all ages by the presenters.

Summit High School is located at 125 Kent Place Boulevard.