• 52°

Catawba College offers illuminating production of ‘Radium Girls’


Catawba College’s freshmen class in Theatre Arts will be putting on a production of “Radium Girls” by playwright D.W. Gregory, in Hedrick Little Theatre.

Opening night: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25

Additional performances 7:30 p.m. Oct. 26-27 and 2:30 p.m. matinee Oct. 30.

Tickets $12 for adults, $10 students, free for Catawba students and faculty.

“Radium Girls” is about a young woman named Grace Fryer, who works as a dial-painter to support her family during the aftermath of the Great Depression. Grace loves her job, but begins to notice her fellow employees falling ill. When she, too, becomes sick, Grace turns her attention to the company, believing it to be their fault. Everything comes to a head when the company is taken to court. Arthur Roeder, president of the U.S. Radium Corporation, refuses to believe that his company is responsible. Based on a true story, “Radium Girls” explores Grace’s perseverance through her trial and her illness.

The director, Dr. Bradly Stephenson, an assistant professor of Theatre Arts, sees this as a hopeful story in a time filled with commercialization, greed, and exploitation. “If we only look at the events, the lives lost, the corruption and mistakes, then the play can lose its spark, its light…” he says. “…every character, despite how flawed, hopes for something better — hope for love, for prosperity, for life.”

With all this being said, it is easy to see this play as a straight “message play,” with two extremes being played opposite to one another. However, Dr. Stephenson says, “I don’t want this to become a play where corporations are bad and the Radium Girls are poor, innocent victims. It’s much more complex than that.” Instead of bashing capitalism or focusing on victimhood, he has chosen to focus on the heart of the story where life intersects in the past and the present.

To achieve this effect, Stephenson has been working with faculty members across the Catawba campus. By merging the many departments both the director and cast members are able to get multiple perspectives on the same story. “One of our goals is to help the audience get a taste of that variety in perspective — to see the many truths being depicted on stage as well as within their historical framework.” Stephenson wants this production to challenge the audience to think about the roles they play in society.

The production, in spite of its challenges, has proven rewarding through its collaborative process. It is part of what is known as a “First-Year Showcase” where freshman are working on the set, costumes, props, and lighting for the show. Together, they went through the brainstorming and designing processes to truly make this show their own.

About Post Lifestyles

Visit us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalPostLifestyle/ and Twitter @postlifestlyes for more content

email author More by Post



Superintendent talks first 100 days, dives into district data


‘It was an answer to a call:’ TenderHearted Home Care celebrates 10 years of providing care at home


Political Notebook: Local polls find increasing number of North Carolinians want COVID-19 vaccine


Trial begins on challenge to latest NC voter ID law


Burch, Fisher, Marsh honored as 2021 recipients of Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Humanitarian Award


Landis board talks revenues, budget planning, department updates


College baseball: Catawba rolls 7-1 and 24-1


Student fires at officers at Tennessee school, is killed


Police: Minnesota officer meant to draw Taser, not handgun


Man receives consecutive prison sentences for sex offenses


RSS Board of Education approves Faith Elementary sale


Rowan Health Department receives 400 Pfizer, 800 Johnson & Johnson vaccines for week


Blotter: Accident in Food Lion only weekend shooting to produce injuries


Salisbury man charged with felony drug crimes


Second person charged in thefts from house near county line


Police use tear gas to end robbery stand off, arrest suspect


Ask Us: When will Rowan Public Library’s West Branch open?


Prosecution case nears end in ex-cop’s trial in Floyd death


Officer accused of force in stop of Black Army officer fired


Blotter: Man charged with hitting man with car, fleeing while intoxicated


‘Meet the need’: Rowan County Health Department looks to add to vaccination options


Seaford is first woman in county hired for town manager position since the ’90s


Colonial Spring Frolic makes a comeback to kick off museum’s year


Concord City Council wants to name bridge for fallen officer, Rowan native