Radium Girls at Merced College Theater


Andrew Thao

Working with Radium

Lawrence Adefeso, Editor/Chief

Radium Girls


On October 17, 2019 I had the pleasure of experiencing a very controversial yet brilliant performance produced by Merced College Theater Society titled “Radium Girls.” The events take place from the year 1918 throughout the early 1920’s which was particularly a rough and tragic time in our country’s history considering the ongoing effects of a World War and a great depression soon to be on the way. The play stars a young female character named Grace Fryer who works with more than a dozen of her friends at a watch factory in Orange, New Jersey. In an attempt to aid the war efforts they take jobs as dialpainters in seek of better wages and cleaner working conditions.  Little do they know, the very ingredient called “Undark” paint which makes the dials glow is actually harmful to their health and later discovered to be very dangerous. After falling ill and enduring horrific injuries such as “black puss oozing out of gums and high levels of gamma” the girls blame the company. In an effort to silence the girls, Corporate Leaders along with their big-time lawyers make proposals of ludicrous offers short of handling their medical expenses. An initial by-out for example was offered at a mere $1500 compensation for each girl. Inspired by true events, Radium Girls is a Story of scientific discovery, corporate greed, and standing up against injustice.  Merced College Theater Society truly incorporates every element of Fine Theater Art Production when it comes to the show.  From the lighting to the audio and scenic work in syncopation along with the dramatic expression of the actors- it honors every dynamic of Fine Theater.

Corporate Big Shots
Corporate Big Shots