The Suffield Players presents These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich on Feb. 9 – 25 at Mapleton Hall. The true story of several Radium Girls—young women eager for financial independence and a chance to help their families in the years following WWI. Glow-in-the-dark instrument panels and clock faces were a strategic advantage during the war. In the years that followed, thousands of women clamored for the delicate job of painting clock and watch faces with radium paint for civilian use, which led to tragic consequences.
Dial painting jobs were seen as patriotic, lucrative and even glamorous. “The floating dust from the radium powder covered their hair, clothes, and skin, making them glow in the dark, like living apparitions,” said Lisa Parker, director of the production. “Girls would wear their party dresses to work so they would glow that evening.” At the time, radium was a relatively new discovery and not much was known about the effects of long-term exposure.
While These Shining Lives follows the story of several actual women who eventually suffered the effects of radium exposure, Parker was eager to state that the play is inspirational rather than depressing. “The real-life radium girls stayed strong because of their friendship, their families and their faith. Despite all odds, they fought for justice all the way to the Supreme Court. Their battle changed workplace safety laws for everyone.”
Presented by the Suffield Players at historic Mapleton Hall, 1305 Mapleton Avenue, Suffield. Directed by Lisa Parker with the talents of Renee Bouldin, Steven Close, Paul DiProto, Barbara Gallow, Candy Green, Jim Hyland, Hanna Madler, Kat Marcil, Mark Proulx, Andrew Ross and Kate Stango.
For tickets visit suffieldplayers.org or call 800-289-6148. Admission is $20 per person ($15 opening night), with discounts for Seniors and students.
Covid 19 precautions will be in effect: Performances on Feb. 9, 10 and 19 will require all audience members to wear masks while inside of Mapleton Hall. Performances on Feb. 11, 17, 18, 24 and 25 are mask optional. See suffieldplayers.org for more information.