"Radium Girls," Play about Factory Workers Exposed to Toxin, Nov. 7-10

Radium Girls Poster - the clock is ticking for dial painter Grace FryerContact:
Gwen O’Brien
Director of Media Relations
Saint Mary’s College
(574) 284-4579

October 18, 2013 (Notre Dame, Ind.)—The Saint Mary’s College Theatre Program is proud to announce Radium Girls is the 2013 fall production. Radium Girls, a play set in New Jersey the 1920s, is based on the true story of young factory workers who begin a campaign for justice after being sickened by radium-laced paint on the job. It is a fast-moving theatrical ensemble piece about greed, wealth, the environment, science, and courage. Performances will take place in Little Theatre, Moreau Center for the Arts, at 7:30 pm, Thursday, Nov. 7 through Saturday, Nov. 9, and at 2:30 pm on Sunday, Nov. 10. Tickets may be purchased at moreaucenter.com or by calling the box office at (574) 284-4626. Click for a campus map.

Playwright D.W. Gregory, who wrote Radium Girls, will be on campus to work and talk with students on Thursday, Nov. 7 and Friday, Nov. 8. On Friday, she, along with faculty from Saint Mary’s and the University of Notre Dame, will participate in a panel discussion titled "Radium Girls, Opening the Doors of Justice" about the labor issues discussed in the play. The talk, coordinated by the College’s justice education program will take place from 1 to 2:30 p.m. in Welsh Parlor of Haggar College Center. The panel discussion is free and open to the public.

Gregory is an award-winning writer whose plays have been presented throughout the United States and abroad. Radium Girls is her most-produced play. Other works include The Good Daughter, which received a Pulitzer Prize nomination, and So Tell Me About This Guy, a finalist for the Heideman Award. Called a “writer with a talent to enlighten and provoke” by the New York Times, Gregory has written nearly a dozen plays for adults and half a dozen scripts for young audiences.

Richard Baxter, director of the Office of Special Events at Saint Mary’s College and an experienced actor and director, is directing the production. “I like the play, I like the story, and I especially enjoy the opportunity to work with so many students. There are 15 in the cast and they range from first year students to seniors. This is an ideal play for them. It’s compromised of short scenes and it’s historical and socially significant.”

The cast also includes a number of professors: Bill Svelmoe (history), David Stefancic (history), Ted Billy (English), and Michael Kramer (communication studies). Erin Moran ’15 plays the lead character Grace Fryer, a dial painter who fights for her day in court. Svelmoe plays her chief adversary and former employer, Arthur Roeder.

About Saint Mary’s College: Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind., is a four-year, Catholic, residential, women’s liberal arts college offering five bachelor’s degrees and more than 30 major areas of study, such as business, nursing, art, chemistry, and social work. The College’s single-gender environment has been proven, in study after study, to foster confidence, ethical leadership, and strong academic success. Saint Mary's College ranks 76 among the 248 “Best National Liberal Arts Colleges” for 2014 published by U.S. News and World Report. Founded in 1844 by the Sisters of the Holy Cross, Saint Mary’s College’s mission is to educate women and prepare them for postgraduate success whether it’s a first job, graduate school, or postgraduate service.