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 also with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. Written with warmth and humor, Radium Girls is a fast-moving, highly theatrical ensemble piece for 10 actors, who play more than 30 parts—friends, coworkers, lovers, relatives, attorneys, scientists, consumer advocates and myriad interested bystanders. 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.
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- Type of Show One-act Play
- Product Code RD2000
- Cast Size 10
- Min. Royalty Rate $50/perf
- Cost $9.95
- Approx. Run Time 40 min
- Target Audience High School | College and Adult
- Performing Group High School | College Theatre
- Genre Comedy | Drama
- ISBN(13) 9781619590076
- "It was one of the most impactful plays we have had at our school in some time. It's historical relevance and structure really lend to some great theater. "
- Review by Anthony Schik, Beveridge Magnet School, Omaha, Neb.
Hints, Tips, and Tricks
- "To prepare for the production and for the students to connect more with the characters and story, we watched a short documentary on the radium girls. This helped immensely as the kids were able to play these characters more truthfully."
- Tip by Anthony Schik, Beveridge Magnet School, Omaha, Neb.