“Radium Girls” opens Oct. 17 to the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point’s Jenkins Theatre in the Noel Fine Arts Center. With a cast full of experienced and enthusiastic students starring in the historical play, it is sure to impress.
“Radium Girls” is a story about women in the 1920s who consume radium as a result of working in factories without being aware of its harmful effects. These characters seek justice by attempting to sue the company they worked for.
Silvia Bond, junior Bachelor of Fine Arts acting major, is one of many talented students who will appear on stage opening night.
Bond’s character narrates the play by breaking down the fourth wall and giving audience members updates about the plot as the story progresses.
“This whole historical event changed the way women’s rights were viewed,” Bond said. “Workers’ rights were changed by this event. It is a wonderful educational experience as well as an entertaining one.”
Bond is proud to be a part of a play that tells such an important story in American history. She believes the costumes for the play really enhance the characters.
“A lot of the people in the play are playing a few different characters,” Bond said. “You get to see the changes of characters through costume.”
Courtney Holly, senior BFA acting major, portrays Katherine Wiley in the drama. Holly’s role is to work alongside the play’s heroine Grace Fryer. Together, the women seek compensation for the harm radium caused them.
“I really love how strong of a person Katherine is. She’s very manipulative, but in the best way possible,” Holly said.
Holly is proud of the dedication she and her peers have put into the play. Holly said everyone in the cast and crew is like a family.
“It is a joy being able to work with so many people,” Holly said.
Holly said the hard work that goes into the show is reflected not only through the actors’ performances, but through set production.
“The set is very unlike what I would have imagined,” Holly said. “As an actor, I am thinking about the realism of it, and the set is so symbolic and epic.”
Preparation for the play has been extensive.
According to the show’s director, Stephen Trovillion Smith, the department held auditions for “Radium Girls” on Labor Day. Smith said after everyone was cast, they started rehearsing six days a week.
“It hass been a long process. In about a week we go into technical rehearsals,” Smith said.
Smith has dedicated ample amounts of his time to bring the play to life. He said preparation for “Radium Girls” began a year in advance.
“I chose the play,” Smith said. “I am responsible for working with the designers to make sure the whole production looks unified. I have to coach the actors and I also stage the play.”
The cast and crew’s passion and dedication will continue as they prepare for opening night.
“They work very hard and it is always inspiring for me to see how hard they work and how passionate they are and dedicated to their performances,” Smith said.