Open Forum

These Shining Lives vs Radium Girls

  • 1.  These Shining Lives vs Radium Girls

    Posted 07-24-2019 16:09
    Hello everyone,

    Does anyone have experience with These Shining Lives and/or Radium Girls. Do you have a preference? What are the main differences? Was planning on doing Radium Girls as our fall play this year and the other keeps popping up so I was curious.

    Thank you!

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    Sarah Aanderud Wahlen
    Director of Theatre & Film
    Holy Names Academy
    Seattle, WA
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  • 2.  RE: These Shining Lives vs Radium Girls

    Posted 07-24-2019 16:54
    These Shining Lives has a much smaller cast (though you could easily add a non-speaking ensemble) and tells a more intimate story that is focused on one woman and her experience. Radium Girls is more of an ensemble show that shows more sides to the story.  They're both good plays, but I prefer These Shining Lives - I think it's better written, with moments that approach poetry, and ultimately more moving since we get to know the main character (and her three co-workers) very well. That said, you can't go wrong with either one.

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    Ken Buswell
    Drama Teacher
    Peachtree City, GA
    http://mcintoshtheater.org/

    Theater kills ignorance
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  • 3.  RE: These Shining Lives vs Radium Girls

    Posted 07-24-2019 17:00
    Thank you so much! Appreciate you sharing your wisdom and thoughts!

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    Sarah Aanderud Wahlen
    Director of Theatre & Film
    Holy Names Academy
    Seattle, WA
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  • 4.  RE: These Shining Lives vs Radium Girls

    Posted 07-25-2019 10:26
    Edited by Michael McDonough 07-26-2019 10:17
    I'll throw a new musical option into the mix for consideration. No, it's not a musical-ization of the radium story! But a not dissimilar theme, same time period, based on history, etc. You will need some boys, one of whom must sing.

    From New York to Paris, from ragtime to jazz – THE HELLO GIRLS chronicles the true story of America's first women soldiers.  Against all odds in a male-centric environment (from recruits in basic training to French bunkers), these intrepid heroines courageously served as bi-lingual telephone operators on the front lines with their groundbreaking work helping to turn the tide of World War I.  Returning home they fought a decades-long battle for equality and recognition, their patriotism paving the way for future generations. 


    Zap me an email for a pdf perusal or just ask here on this thread.


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    Michael McDonough
    TRW  Asst VP Amateur Licensing
    New York
    michaelm@theatricalrights.com

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  • 5.  RE: These Shining Lives vs Radium Girls

    Posted 07-25-2019 17:00
    I too did  These Shining Lives and it was one of the shows that I am most proud of!  I agree with the comment above that it is much better written than Radium Girls. Both are based on real events-just different factories.  My kids were able to find newspaper archives with articles about the women the characters were based on. I strongly recommend the show!

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    Nell] [Lynch]
    Timonium MDMaggie
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  • 6.  RE: These Shining Lives vs Radium Girls

    Posted 07-26-2019 12:11
    I know you are getting lots of feedback about the two shows.

    I did not direct These Shiny Lives, but we did use a cutting from it for a competition once and it was a good experience.

    I directed Radium Girls and really found it to be a wonderful script. I loved the dialogue and the character development. I expanded the cast to break up the double/triple casting of the original production. That allowed me to have a cast of 30. Some parts were very small, but it still gave everyone cast a chance to develop a character and be part of a wonderful story.

    I would say the language is more straight forward and more like common speech. That appealed to me. I wanted my actors to be able to find the right way to express the language that elevated the story.  These Shiny Lives is terrific, but the cast is much smaller and the language is more poetic.

    Bottom line. You can't go wrong. Remember your audience and cast doesn't really know the difference.  They will find both stories compelling and interesting.

    Radium Girls is one of my most talked about productions to date.

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    John Rutherford
    Groves Performing Arts Company
    W.E. Groves High School
    Beverly Hills MI
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  • 7.  RE: These Shining Lives vs Radium Girls

    Posted 07-26-2019 13:48
    Thank you everyone! This is all very helpful :)

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    Sarah Aanderud Wahlen
    Director of Theatre & Film
    Holy Names Academy
    Seattle, WA
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  • 8.  RE: These Shining Lives vs Radium Girls

    Posted 07-31-2019 08:37
    We did Radium Girls last year and it was a great success.  I expanded the cast to 45 (had 55 audition).  I loved that the play focused on the corporation's struggle (Roeder) as well so it was not completely one-sided and created tension.  I found the characters to be very rich and challenging for young actors.  Fantastic experience!

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    Laura Russo
    Teacher/Director of Theatre Arts
    School District of The Chathams
    Chatham NJ
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  • 9.  RE: These Shining Lives vs Radium Girls

    Posted 08-12-2019 13:12
    We did These Shining Lives a couple of years ago for One Act competition. I liked TSL over Radium Girls because it gave me more to work with as far as the girls relationships. I felt like Radium Girls was more descriptive with the characters ailments and not with the relationships and the lives of the characters. My kids loved that show!

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    Candice Corcoran
    Kennesaw GA
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