Radium Girls

Play title:  Radium Girls

Author(s):  D.W. Gregory

Publisher: Dramatic Publishing Company

Publication Date: 2003

Genre: Drama

Primary Discipline: Chemistry

Secondary Discipline: Medicine?

Scientist (s):

Dr. Cecil Drinker: A Harvard industrial hygienist

Dr. Harrison Martland: The county medical examiner

Dr. Joseph Knef: A dentist

Dr. Marie Curie: Discovered Radium

Frederick Flinn: Columbia University industrial hygienist

Source Texts: “Radium Girls: Women and Industrial Health Reform 1910-1935” by Claudia Clark

Character Breakdown: At least 4 men and 5 women, extras

Grace Fryer, Kathryn Schaub, Irene Rudolph, Mrs. Alma Macneil, Arthur Roeder, Edward Markley, C.B. “Charlie” Lee, Dr. Von Sochocky, Tom Kreider, Diane Roeder, Harriet Roeder, Anna Fryer, Katherine Wiley, Raymond Berry, Dr. Cecil Drinker, Dr. Harrison Martland, Dr. Joseph Knef, Dr. Marie Curie, Frederick Flinn, Reporter, Sob Sister, William J.A. Bailey, Mrs. Michaels, Society Woman, Clerk,

Setting: Orange, New Jersey

Time Period: 1926

Synopsis of Play: 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 Grave 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 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. (play text cover blurb)

First Performance Date: May 11th-28th, 2000

First Producer: Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey

Performance History: Radium Girls was originally produced by Playwrights Theatre of New Jersey and developed with a commissioning grant from The Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science and Technology Project. It opened on May 11th, 2000 and was directed by Joseph Megel. With casting by Michele Ortlip; set design by Jim Bazewicz; costumes by Valerie Holland Hughes, lighting by Ted Mather, sound by Dean Gray and Jonathan Taylor, makeup and properties by Tiffany M. Bazewicz, and the artistic director being John Pietrowski. Under a grant from Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project, the play was subsequently revised. This revision was presented at the University of Washington-Seattle on March 6th-17th, 2002.



Entered by: Meaghan Yesford

Photo/Visual Research with citations:

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