Radium Girls: A Play in Two Acts by D.W. Gregory
Published by Dramatic Pub. on December 1st 2003
Genres: Drama, Historical, Historical Fiction, Plays
Length: 110 pages Source: Borrowed from Another Source
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From the book back:
In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage- until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not only with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but also with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire.
I came across the play on a slow day at work and read it before the shift was over. It is a wonderful (sad, but wonderful) reflection on the “Radium Girls” and their battle for justice, as well as a warning to even modern audiences regarding the proper treatment of employees, and caution in the face of the unknown. I loved the use of the historical figure Madame Curie in the play, and would love to see the play on stage.