A true story of a watch dial painter who struggled against her employer, her family & public opinion.
The 1920s. Radium is hailed as a miracle cure and luminous watch dials are all the age. A special dial painter has contracted a mysterious illness, and she struggles against her employer, her family, and public opinion for recognition and justice. Radium Girls is a fast-moving play based on a riveting true story. An ensemble plays more than 30 parts—friends, co-workers, lovers, relatives, attorneys, scientists, consumer advocates, and more.
"Especially given what we have learned about the fates of so many workers in the pandemic, Radium Girls feels thoroughly contemporary. Gregory doesn't need to editorialize; the facts are plain, no more so than in the scene Grace is offered a paltry settlement. Her mother points out that it is better that nothing. "Is that all I'm worth?" Grace asks. "Better than nothing?" One hundred years later, it's a question that carries a powerful sting."
"D.W. Gregory’s docudrama Radium Girls being given its New York premiere after a run in New Jersey over 20 years ago attempts to put the story and subsequent lawsuits on stage. Part of the problem with the stage version is the use of ten actors to play 36 parts with five playing up to seven roles each, making it difficult to keep straight who is who. Possibly more damaging is the languid, studied direction by Laura Livingston."