Schreiber’s new show, Radium Girls, takes center stage


Courtesy of Schreiber Theatre Company

Seniors Max Welsh, Matt DeMarino, and sophomore Ryan Joslyn played businessmen named Lee, Roeder, and Knef who were uncharge of the US Radium Corporation.

Ashley Cohen, Contributing Writer

Every autumn, Schreiber produces a play and students in all four grades participate by joining the cast and crew.  This year, Schreiber’s fall play, which was held from Nov. 15 to 18, was titled Radium Girls and followed the story of watch dial painters. 

            In the mid 1920’s, radium was a very popular element.  It had been discovered roughly a score ago by scientist Marie Curie and was used in many commercial items.  Though the element wasn’t quite understood as it was a fairly new discovery, many at the time had jobs that heavily involved its usage. The Radium Girls, for example, were women who worked painting watch dials with radium paint.  Due to the dangers of this paint, though, many of them began to die from “radium jaw,” and were frustrated that the public remained oblivious.  

“The Radium Girls themselves worked tirelessly to have their voices heard- a true underdog tale. So much effort has been put in to making the show as meaningful as possible for everyone in the audience, and there is something for everyone in it,” said freshman Hannah Brooks.  

Radium Girls follows the true story of Grace Fryer. Played by senior Veronica Lee in Schreiber’s production, Fryer was a woman who sued the U.S. Radium Corporation.  Her valiant struggle is what makes up the plot of the play, and the story is one of love, drama, humor, tragedy, and rapturous spirit.  

The rehearsal process and overall experience is one all of the cast members claimed to enjoy.  

“As always, the Schreiber theatre production was a great experience where I got to spend lots of time with my friends while doing something that we all care so much about,” said junior Hannah Devlin.  

Each week, the cast members had about two hours of rehearsal from Monday to Friday, in which the scenes were staged.  Members of the cast included freshman Hannah Brooks, senior Piper Woods, senior Matthew DeMarino, and junior Hannah Siskin, along with many more students who helped make the production possible.  

 “My experience in the show has been fun! I’ve had the pleasure of portraying Marie Curie, who has always been an inspiration to me, since she was one of the first women to make a major breakthrough in a traditionally male field, and Elderly Widow. Playing two parts has given me the opportunity to grow in a few ways as an actress since both roles are quite different,” said junior Hannah Siskin.  

Many teachers in the Schreiber science department also offered extra credit for students who attended the performance and completed an assignment on the play and its historical context.

“I went to see Radium Girls for chemistry extra credit and it was a really well-done production. The story was so interesting and I found it even more exiting, since I was learning about the topic in class,” said senior Jeannie Ren.  “Props to the Drama Club for putting out yet another well-produced play!”