These Shining Lives

2022-2023 Mainstage Season Series at William Woods continues with historical drama “These Shining Lives”

The Mainstage Season Series at William Woods University(WWU) will resume next week for the 2022-2023 academic year, as the University’s drama department will stage a play about four women who take a seemingly harmless job in early 20th century America with disastrous results. Based on a true story, “These Shining Lives” will begin with the opening performance at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, at Dulany Auditorium on the WWU campus.

“These Shining Lives” is set in the late 1920’s-early 1930’s time period, when women had a slim chance of obtaining a well-paying job in America. Narrated by one of the workers, Catherine Donohue, four women are hired for what seems like an easy enough task – painting the hour markings onto watch dials of different sizes using a radium compound that glows in the dark. Although the company (Radium Dial) that hires the women to do the painting tells them that there is no evidence that radium is harmful, the workers begin noticing that their hands start glowing in the dark. Eventually, they all begin developing ailments, including jaw infections and bone pain. When several doctors, including the company doctor, overlook the women’s concerns and prescribe aspirin to no avail, the women have to travel to the city (Chicago) to find a doctor who will diagnose them with radium poisoning and an attorney to file a lawsuit on their behalf against Radium Dial.

“The true story of These Shining Lives explores the challenging and sometimes dangerous world of women’s employment nearly 100 years ago in America, and four courageous and determined women who respond when they are wronged by their employer,” said Joe Potter, Artistic Director of the William Woods University Theatre Department. “Come join us for an interesting and thought-provoking evening of theatre.”

Performances for These Shining Lives will take place February 23 – 25 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee showing on Saturday, February 25 at 2 p.m., all in Dulany Auditorium. Tickets for the production ($8) must be purchased using a credit or debit card at Attendees must have their purchased ticket pulled up on their phone for admittance into the theatre. All seating is now in a general admission format. Parental Guidance is recommended The final production for the 2022-2023 academic year will be “The Sweet Delilah Swim Club,” April 20-22, 2023.