FHU Theatre to Present 'Radium Girls'

MARCH 4, 2013

Freed-Hardeman University’s production of “Radium Girls” is set for March 14-16 at 7 p.m. and March 16 at 2 p.m. in the Black Box Theatre. The play is in conjunction with the spring Connections Series, entitled “Truth or Dare: The Consequences of Progress,” planned for March 11-16.

Described as “a compelling new drama,” D.W. Gregory’s “Radium Girls” is based on actual events in 1920s New Jersey. The fast-paced storyline follows Grace Fryer’s journey to court as her fellow radium-exposed factory workers begin to fall ill. Not only does Grace find herself fighting the U.S. Radium Corporation, but her family and friends as well.

The real-life “radium girls” were female factory workers who painted watch dials with glow-in-the-dark paint. Told the paint was harmless, they ingested deadly amounts of radium by licking their paintbrushes to give them a fine point. Some workers even painted their fingernails and teeth with the substance. Their story and subsequent lawsuit are important in health physics and the labor movement. Rights of workers to sue corporations for damages due to labor abuse were established and industrial safety standards were enhanced as a result of this case.

FHU students and alumni, including Abby Lambert, Ryan Pickens, Annie Pickens, Brandyn Graves, Hannah Graves, Mauricio Campos, Stephanie Benge, Robby Robertson, and Bronwen Amos, make up the cast of “Radium Girls.” Because the play is comprised of nearly 40 characters, each student plays multiple roles. Dr. Cliff Thompson, director of theatre at FHU, is directing the play.

Tickets for “Radium Girls” are $12 for general admission and $3 for FHU students. To purchase tickets, visit fhutickets.com or contact the theatre office at 731-989-6938.