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Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

  • 1.  Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 18 days ago
    I chose Radium Girls for my play this year, and I have 13 actors. The six 9th and 10th graders like the show, but the seven Seniors don't like it at all! They just cannot get jazzed up about it. They have done Big Fish, Peter and the Starcatcher, AntigoneX, Twelfth Night, The Real Inspector Hound, and Almost, Maine and they had sooooo much fun. This show to them seems like such a let down for their last show, and they're really bummed. I hate to disappoint them! And to be honest, after reading the play out loud at the table read I also didn't fall in love with it.

    If you directed the show at your school, did you love it? did your seniors? and why?


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    Arden Thomas
    Sequoyah High School
    Pasadena CA
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  • 2.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 18 days ago
    I think part of my actors' hesitation is that we are 10 girls and 3 boys and the play - though named Radium Girls - is largely about the men. The girls die off and the
    men take most of the roles, and even have the last word. This didn't sit well! I think it could be terrific from a theatrical standpoint though, with a lot of great acting roles.

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    Arden Thomas
    Sequoyah High School
    Pasadena CA
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  • 3.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 18 days ago
    Hi Arden,

    It's interesting that you're take on the show that it is largely about the men...that isn't what I got out of it all at.  Maybe it is because you only have 3 men in the cast playing multiple characters, so seeing the same actor is giving you that impression.  It's really Grace's play with Arthur a close second. Grace opens the show and Arthur ends it.

    We hadn't done a play based on actual people in quite some time, so at the early rehearsals, we discussed the general history of the time and then the actual people the play is based on. I encouraged the students to do their own research on their characters and the lawsuit and how this particular case was the precursor to workers' rights and OSHA.  I brought in bits on information from the book Radium Girls and also used access to Newspapers.com thru my Ancestry.com account to find actual interviews with Grace and Katherine that I printed out and shared with them along with pictures of as many of the real life characters that I could find.  Kids would also send me web links that I'd share with the cast via Remind.

    I think this early research gave each student more ownership of their roles and they all became invested in the play and eager to tell this little know but important event in US History.  If is make sense, I think the students were the most "real" in their performances in this show than pervious.

    ------------------------------
    Lynda Gibson
    Director
    Troupe 2829
    Flushing High School
    Junior Troupe 88305
    Flushing Middle School
    ------------------------------



  • 4.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 18 days ago
    If you're interested in some of what I found and shared and also included in the program, here is a link to those items. The watercolor image was simply a used for a prop...printed it out and put it in a small "travel size" sketch book that Grace used in the last scene with Tommy.

    ------------------------------
    Lynda Gibson
    Director
    Troupe 2829
    Flushing High School
    Junior Troupe 88305
    Flushing Middle School
    ------------------------------



  • 5.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 18 days ago
    OOOPS! Wrong link in that previous replay.....this should be the correct on now!

    I blame my typos and oops on it being early Saturday morning at the end of the first week back with students! :-D

    ------------------------------
    Lynda Gibson
    Director
    Troupe 2829
    Flushing High School
    Junior Troupe 88305
    Flushing Middle School
    ------------------------------



  • 6.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 7 days ago
    This is awesome! Thank you so much! We are doing Radium Girls this year too and my girls are excited. We did "Decision Height" a couple of years ago (my favorite directing experience to date) and I think they feel a similar way towards this show.

    ------------------------------
    Sarah Aanderud Wahlen
    Director of Theatre & Film
    Holy Names Academy
    Seattle, WA
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  • 7.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 16 days ago
    I completely agree with Lynda.  We did RG last fall and my cast of 45 absolutely adored it.  We live about ten miles from Orange, NJ so everyone was really invested in the characters and story.  We, too, did a lot of research.  I added about twelve dial painters and gave them the names of actual victims.  I think the action is perfectly balanced between men and women.  Grace, Katherine, Roeder, Mrs. Roeder, Tom, Markley,--so many meaty characters! The character of Roeder is very complex and my actor really dove into his struggle between right and wrong.  I think once you get the show on it's feet and start to built tension they will come around.  RG is an important story with such a relevant message!

    ------------------------------
    Laura Russo
    Teacher/Director of Theatre Arts
    School District of The Chathams
    Chatham NJ
    ------------------------------



  • 8.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 18 days ago
    I did a 40 minute cut for festival three years ago and we LOVED IT. Yes, there are definitely more men than women which is frustrating. We doubled all of the men parts, and some of the women parts. Did most of our changes on stage in front of the audience so that the audience could see the shift in characters. 

    To this day is one of my favorite shows I've ever directed. 


    Juniper Wallace
    Theatre Director
    Northwest Rankin High School
    Mississippi Theatre Association Vice President
    MDE Theatre Arts Standards Chair
    "Success is a journey, not a destination. The doing is often more important than the outcome." 
    --Arthur Ashe


    Rankin County School District 


    Mission: Bring Everyone's Strengths Together!  We will all intentionally focus on empowering our students to reach their maximum potential by embracing opportunities and challenges while cultivating a tradition of distinction in education.

    Vision: Continue a tradition of excellence by providing a world-class education that empowers all to grow through curiosity, discovery, and learning.





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  • 9.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 18 days ago
    I did Radium girls three years ago, and as usual I cast everyone I could in the cast. It may be a tough sell at first...it's a historic tragedy, not a love story or a comedy. One of my lead girls was so moved by her experience doing the show that her patents engraved "Radium Girls" on the inside of her class ring.

    The makeup crew for Radium girls is a very important job. The more painters you cast, the more makeup artists you will need.

    Hang in there. The cast will love the play once it's up and running.

    Billy Houck
    Theatre Teacher, Retired
    Carmichael, CA






  • 10.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 18 days ago
    Are your young people at all interested in activism? One of the ways that they might be able to get more enthused by it is to make a connection to the real life nature of this piece. Also, to make a connection to it being a cautionary tale about powerful systems/people who deny the reality of damage done by dangerous chemicals, or whatever. I assisted with a production here in Ohio, and I drew parallels to the Flint water crisis situation. The reality that stuff like this still occurs should give pause.

    ------------------------------
    Rosie Best
    Artistic Director
    Issue Box Theatre
    rosie@issueboxtheatre.org
    ------------------------------



  • 11.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 18 days ago
    We performed the show last year and did indeed LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it!  The cast became very excited about telling this real life story and discussing the impact of corporate greed.  We shared quite a bit of research on the news of the day and became rather incensed that this kind of thing could (and still does) happen.

    ------------------------------
    [William] [Myatt] [Director of Theatre]

    [Pleasant Valley High School]

    [myattw@pleasval.k12.ia.us][563-332-5151][Bettendorf][IA][USA]
    ------------------------------



  • 12.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 18 days ago
    Edited by Joel King 18 days ago
    For me the play rang as a "high school" play more than These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich.  TSL is the same story told a little differently.  It is less characters 2 guys/4women but I saw it with an expanded cast of workers and such who served in various background characters.  That being said, the story itself is compelling so maybe if you can get to the meat of what others have suggested, the students will lean in.

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    Joel King
    Woodstock GA
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  • 13.  RE: Radium Girls - did you LOVE love love it?

    Posted 17 days ago
    I love everything that you all are saying about this! You're so good. Thank you!!

    ------------------------------
    Arden Thomas
    Sequoyah High School
    Pasadena CA
    ------------------------------