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Who Runs the World: Radium Girls

Who Runs the World: Radium Girls

By Savannah Graziano

Radium Girls”, a theatrical production months in the making, is a dark comedy that brings the 1920s to life on Northside’s stage. While based on the true stories of women at the time, the prevailing themes resonate with the political and cultural climate of modern day America. Stage Manager Lexy Chilson, Adv. 908, says “Radium Girls” is about “feminism, the industrial revolution, workers rights, and science all jam packed into one.” What makes this play unique, according to Samantha Ringor, Adv. 001, is “the sheer shock factor of it.” If Daniel Newgarden, Adv. 108, could describe the play in three words, he would say “super fast paced.” Newgarden explains his choice saying “the play goes through a lot quickly, and there is a lot of emotion and development to run through, and it is done really well.”

As for the plot, Ringor summarizes  what the audience can expect. “The story is based heavily on actual women during the 1920s who suffered from radium poisoning and were stuck in an endless corporate loop with the company, without any justice being served.” While not wanting to spoil the show, Molly Furlong, Adv. 906, gives the audience a small look into her character, Wiley, who manages interactions between the radium girls and the press. She says, “I think that the purpose of my character is to show that no one was truly on their [the radium girls’s] side. She ultimately helps them in their lawsuit, but her motives are selfish.These themes are especially prominent today, when performative activism happens all the time.” Caleb DeBerry, Adv. 103, sees parts of himself in his characters saying, “I play two characters: William Bailey, who’s very extra, like me, and Raymond Berry, who works for the girls [as their lawyer] free of charge. I want to try and help people the best I can when I get older, so I like that aspect the most.”

Students have put many hours into the play since auditions were held in October and rehearsals became longer and more frequent as opening night approaches. Ringor says, “my favorite part about performing in the fall play is definitely seeing the whole show come together. Tech week, the infamous week of stress and late nights, often fills everyone with stress, but each day we see more of the show coming together to make something really awesome. It’s nice to feel proud about a production and watch everyone pour their heart out on stage.” She is right, with tech week almost over, “Radium Girls” is coming together as a successful production. While past fall plays have had great success, Newgarden believes “Radium Girls” to be “one of the more intricate shows” of the past few years and notes this year’s addition of mics. He says, “it’s exciting to use those and see what we’re gonna be able to improve using them!” Furlong is equally excited saying, “Radium Girls is a unique play because it evokes a wide range of emotions and reactions from the audience. None of the other plays that we’ve done at Northside in my four years have included such an interesting combination of themes and tones.”

While the play has been produced in a short amount of time, the cast has spent time bonding and creating strong chemistry which translates to the play itself. Furlong says that bonding with her castmates is her favorite part of being in the play. “They’re all so creative and talented, and it is a lot of fun working with them. Being in the play is a really easy way to make a bunch of new friends!”

When asked about cast bonding, DeBerry says “We had a day where we met up and went thrifting for costumes and we went to see the Whitney Young production of “Radium Girls.” They’re seeing our play too, and we all hung out afterwards and played games.”

All students involved in the production encourage Northsiders and the community alike to see the show this week. “It’s a story everyone can relate to...It’s funny and both warms and breaks my heart every run through” Chilson says. Newgarden echoed this sentiment saying, “People should come because it’s a powerful show. It covers some deep subject matter, but it is important to see this because plays are meant to be learned from.”

Be sure to check out “Radium Girls” in the Northside auditorium this week, tickets cost five dollars at the door.

Thursday 5:30 pm

Friday 7 pm

Saturday 7 pm

Sunday 3 pm

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