DEWEY MEMORIAL HALL PRESENT
THESE SHINING LIVES
By Melanie Marnich
Directed by Macey Levin
Saturday, April 28 at 2 & 7:30 pm
This story of survival is based on a true incident in the 1920’s of four women who worked in a watch factory. They were required to paint the faces of the watches and clocks with radium which, at the time, was seen as a miracle element that could cure all illnesses. It had a devastating effect on their lives. The play dramatizes the peril women faced in the workforce in the 1920s, and the lack of concern by businesses for protecting the health of its employees. The four refuse to allow the company that stole their health to destroy their spirits or to imperil those that followed.
“These Shining Lives is an understated drama that subtly tells a worthy story. It is a powerful story of the strength of the common woman to earn their way and the resilience of their spirit. Melanie Marnich’s script is tight and well written. This show is a real find—don’t miss this wonderful play.” ChicagoCritic
“In this drama centering around Catherine Donahue and her three coworkers / friends, the new financial independence of women working in the post-war 1920s is both liberating and exciting. The women earn a comfortable living painting watch faces glow-in-the-dark. This new vision of freedom is shattered when one by one the women begin to fall ill to mysterious ailments. They discover the source of their sickness is radioactive paint used for the watches, and decide to seek retribution in the form of a class-action lawsuit against their employer, Radium Dial Company. Though the women are doomed to die, their struggle to fix what is broken demonstrates the power of the female spirit despite the curbing of women’s newly won social freedoms during the Great Depression.” New Dramatists
“Set largely during the 1920s, These Shining Lives chronicles the experiences of four women who defy the status quo by choosing not to work as housewives, but as painters at a thriving clock and watch factory. They relish in their newfound independence, female camaraderie, and economic prowess, that is, until they realize that they have been exposed to dangerous toxic chemicals. It is then that the women must decide whether or not to fight back against the very corporation that once empowered and uplifted their lives.” MD Theatre Guide
Doors open at 1:30 and 7:00 PM for respective matinee (2:00) and evening (7:30) performances for complimentary beverages and refreshments; the reading is followed by a discussion. Dewey Memorial Hall is on the west side of Route 7, Sheffield, MA
Tickets: $30.00 General admission; $20.00 for students 18 and under. For reservations go to email@example.com or call 860-435-6928. We accept cash or check only.