In the 1920s and early 1930s, female factory workers, later known as radium girls, contracted radium poisoning from painting watch dials with glow-in-the-dark paint at the United States Radium Factory in Ottawa, Ill.
The women, who had been told the paint was harmless, ingested deadly amounts of radium by licking their paintbrushes to give them a fine point. Five of the workers challenged their employer in a landmark case that traveled to the U.S. Supreme Court and established the right of individuals who contracted “occupational diseases” to sue their employers.
Now, Stoneham Theatre brings this story to the stage with “These Shining Lives,” a new play directed by Caitlin Lowans.
“Even though these events took place ninety years ago, it’s important when doing a historical piece to connect it to who we are as a society today and what practices we ought to be questioning,” Lowans said.
“These Shining Lives,” by Melanie Marnich, opens Thursday, June 6, and runs through Saturday, June 22. For tickets, call the Stoneham Theatre Box Office at (781) 279-2200, or visit www.stonehamtheatre.org.
Phillips Music Department in concert
The Phillips Academy Music Department will present a concert with the Academy Chorus and Fidelio Society under the direction of faculty member Christopher Walter at 7:30 p.m., Friday, May 31.
The program will feature The Fidelio Society performing works by Gershwin, Vaughan Williams, Mignemi, and Bernstein. The Academy Chorus will be performing “Ballaleikka” by A.R. Rahman, a medley from “Les Miserables” and other pieces. Also on the program is a First Performance of a specially commissioned work by Kevin Siegfried that was funded by the Abbot Academy Association.
Free and open to the public, the concert is in Cochran Chapel on the Phillips Academy campus, 180 Main St., Andover. For information, contact the music department at (978) 749-4263 or e-mail to email@example.com.