‘Radium Girls’ on stage at RHS
The School District of Rhinelander Drama Department will present “Radium Girls,” Feb. 27-29, and March 1.
Set in 1926, the play is inspired by the real-life story of women and girls who were employed to paint numbers on watch faces with luminous paint. The workers were instructed to use their lips to put a fine point on their paint brushes. Believing the paint was harmless, some of the girls even painted their nails, teeth and faces with the glow-in-the-dark substance. It wasn’t long before the girls who worked with the paint began to fall ill with a mysterious disease.
“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 illness 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 American obsession with health, wealth and the commercialization of science.
Performances will be 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 27-29, and 1 p.m. Sunday, March 1 in the John and Dori Brown Performing Arts Center at Rhinelander High School. Tickets are $5 and will be available at the door.