Trinity Hall will premiere its fall play “These Shining Lives” from November 17 through November 19 at Brookdale Community College Performing Arts Center. As opening night approaches, Trinity Hall’s Queen’s Court Company is rehearsing and preparing their lines, while the Crowning Crew creates original costumes, sets, props and lighting design to bring the story to life. The set and student-actresses will live up to the name of the play as special effects will make them “shine.”
The play takes place in the 1920s in Illinois at the Radium Dial Company, a watch company that hires women, an unconventional practice for the time period The story follows Catherine Donohue and her three coworkers as they paint the watches using radium, a radioactive metal that glows in the dark. As their friendship grows and their painting skills become top-notch, they start to notice negative health effects from the radium, specifically bone ailments and glowing skin. As their conditions worsen, Catherine and the women fight for justice for themselves, their coworkers and the worker’s rights movement in the United States. “These Shining Lives” is based on real events of radium poisoning in factories across the United States in the 1920s and 1930s.
Trinity Hall Senior Bridget Johnston will be playing the role of Catherine Donohue come November. She said, “‘These Shining Lives’ tells the amazing story of four strong women who push for change in the workforce after being diagnosed with radium poisoning from their factory. Having the opportunity to be Catherine Donohue in my senior show is a dream come true. The rehearsal process has been so much fun because it is with some of my closest friends and outstanding director Mrs. Phillips. We [the cast] all push each other to embrace our characters and thrive off of unblocked actions to further understand our objectives. I am most excited to bring this story to life and show the Trinity Hall community the importance of trusting your gut and standing up for yourself.”
Trinity Hall Director Ellen Phillips explains, “I chose ‘These Shining Lives’ because it was time for us to take on a dramatic piece. I was looking for a good story, with a meaningful message. While ‘These Shining Lives’ is about the horror of radium poisonings in the 1920's and 30's, this play is more about the women listening to the voice in their heads that said, ‘something is wrong’ or ‘this is not right.’ It is told in a beautiful and artistic way, and the cast is leaning into the story and the time period. Every cast member has a name of an actual person who worked at the Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, Illinois at this time. It has helped them realize both the importance of the story and that they ALL have a place in the narrative. I am so excited to share this play with our community.”
“These Shining Lives” will take the stage on Thursday, November 17 and Friday, November 18 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, November 19 at 2:30 p.m. at Brookdale Community College Performing Arts Center. Ticket reservations for all performances are available online at th.booktix.com
The Queen’s Court Company and Crowning Crew invite you to share a message with a member(s) of the cast and/or crew, or advertise your business in the program. Messages will appear in the program for the fall drama. Purchase here.