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Furman Theatre to present “These Shining Lives”

Last updated February 4, 2014

By Tina Underwood

The Furman University Theatre will present “These Shining Lives” by Melanie Marnich Feb. 12-15 and Feb. 20-22 at 8 p.m., with matinees at 3 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 16 and Sunday, Feb. 23. All shows are performed in the Furman Playhouse on campus.

Tickets are $16 general admission, $13 for seniors, and $8 for students.

In the 1920s, The Radium Dial Corporation provided job opportunities for young women who might not otherwise have the chance to earn an income. Catherine Donohue initially took the job as a way to supplement her husband’s pay. Earning what seemed an extravagant sum of up to $8 per day, and on the heels of gaining the right to vote, Donohue and the other “radium girls” embraced the newfound confidence and independence inspired by the vocation.

The job was simple – painting glowing numbers on watch dials. The women were told to dismiss possible health concerns of the paint. In fact, radium was touted as beneficial to the body and used to treat a wide variety of ailments in the day.

Over the years, those luminous watch dials translated to more than money for the women who painted them. The radioactive paint also led to tough choices for the workers, and the fight of their lives.

Based on actual events, “These Shining Lives” follows the story of four women who find lasting camaraderie and the courage to stand up to the company that stacked the odds against them.

Senior theatre majors Tierney Breedlove plays Pearl/Daughter/Judge, and Victoria Buck plays Frances/Reporter 2. Senior Grace Bernardo plays Charlotte/Reporter 1.

Furman Theatre Arts professor Maegan Azar directs the play. Rhett Bryson is set and lighting designer. Margaret Rose Caterisano designs costumes, and Kevin Frazier designs sound and projection.

For ticket information and reservations, call the Theatre Box Office at 864-294-2125.

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