Around the Green

The Forman Ensemble Players presented the play Radium Girls on May 18th and 19th in the Jake Cloobeck ’16 Theater. With only limited time to rehearse, the cast and crew demonstrated their talents in a wonderful performance. 

Radium Girls, written by D.W. Gregory, features a historical story of women in the 1920s. 

The synopsis by Dramatic Publishing reads, “In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. Written with warmth and humor, Radium Girls is a fast-moving, highly theatrical ensemble piece. Called a "powerful" and "engrossing" drama by critics, Radium Girls offers a wry, unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsessions with health, wealth, and the commercialization of science.” 

Lily Chen, Thinking and Writing Department Chair and Director of Spring Theatrical Productions, says the cast and crew overcame obstacles and persevered. 

“My deepest gratitude goes to the cast and crew, who began the rehearsal on April 27th and opened the show on May 18th — within 24 hours of which, we had to redistribute the five roles for two key cast members in order to keep the show going,” says Chen. “In my 30 years of theater experience, I have never mounted a show in three weeks of 90-minute rehearsal — except in a professional capacity. I don’t think our cast and crew truly understood the extraordinary feast they accomplished; they simply buckled down and rolled with the punches for the sake of staying true to themselves — the way the Radium Girls did. To the radiant young people I was blessed to work with, I give my heartfelt salute!” 

Additional faculty who assisted in the performance included Arts Teacher Tammy Grella as Technical Director, Art Department Chair Erin Gleason, and Promethean Program and World Language Teacher Jeoffrey Langill. 

The play received many compliments from the Forman community commending the “excellent production” and the hard work that went into it.

“To everyone involved in Radium Girls, you did an excellent job telling this important historical account,” says Charlene Halloran P’05, P’07, Director of Counseling. “Thank you for all of your hard work to produce the show for our community. So proud of you!”  

“To all the cast and helpers of the show, for the little time you had, you guys did an incredible job!” adds Doug Baker ’22. “I’m so proud of all of you and am amazed by the outcome. Great job!!!”