Strong Leads and Emotional Content to Make Fall One Act Impactful


Thomas Hudson, Reporter

“Radium Girls” by D.W. Gregory  is a story about girls who work in a watch factory post-World War I. The watches they make have glow-in-the-dark dials due to the radium-based paint that is used in production. To paint the dials, they use very fine brushes, and to keep the point they use their lips rather than rags.

Now, we know the risks of radioactive substances. When this play was written, however, people did not know about these dangers. This play is based off the real-life events that led to discovery of radium’s effects.

Radium was discovered by Marie and Pierre Curie in 1898 in a sample of uraninite. It was turned metal in 1910. During World War I, radium was used in watches and instruments to avoid drawing attention to the user at night. The user would have had to use a flashlight or lighter, thereby giving up their position. Then, in the late 1920’s, the United States Radium Corporation was sued by five workers who had been inflicted with adverse effects of the radium paint. The girls had ingested radium by licking their paintbrushes and painting their fingernails, faces and teeth.

The version of this play that is going on in Manitou is being directed by MSSD14’s theater teacher Wendy Harms. With leads such as Matt Rivera (12), Maggie Anderson (9), and Spencer Briggs-Hale (11), this production is sure to move the audience and invoke true feelings. Shows will be on Friday 11/4 and Saturday 11/5 at 7:00pm at the Manitou Springs District Auditorium.