These Shining Lives

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These Shining Lives

These Shining Lives
November 15-17, November 19-23

Cast: 4w 2M

These Shining Lives is based on a true story of four women working for the Radium Dial Company – a watch factory in Ottawa, Illinois. It shows women getting a chance for a well-paying job in the 1920s and early 1930s. The job seems easy enough, to paint the hour markings onto different-sized watch dials using a radium compound that glows in the dark. The company tells the women that there is no evidence that radium is harmful and even that it has health benefits. After a period of time, the workers notice that their hands start glowing in the dark but assume that it is just from the radium powder used to paint the faces. The ladies later develop ailments, including jaw infections and bone pain. The play showcases the danger women faced in this workplace and highlights the wider lack of concern companies had for protecting the health of their employees. These Shining Lives chronicles the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day, exploring their true story and its continued resonance. Theirs is a story of survival in its most transcendent sense, as they refuse to allow the company that stole their health to kill their spirits—or endanger the lives of those who come after them.

Critics’ Reviews:

These Shining Lives has a humanistic glow…clockwork precision…an initially comic and ultimately tragic look at how individual women find employment within a system more concerned with profit than safety.” —Variety.

“Perfect, touching and wistful…beautifully tragic.” —Talkin’ Broadway.