Theatre to Perform ‘These Shining Lives’

HIGH POINT, N.C., Sept. 20, 2019 – The High Point University Department of Theatre and Dance will perform “These Shining Lives,” chronicling the lives of four women and the dangers they faced working in a watch factory in Ottawa, Illinois, in the 1920s.

Performances will be held in the Empty Space Theatre on campus at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 3-5 and Oct. 7-9. There will be a matinee performance on Sunday, Oct. 6, at 2 p.m.

Written by Melanie Marnich, “These Shining Lives” is based on the true story of women working in a watch factory, painting glow-in-the-dark numbers on watch faces, using radium. In the 1920s, radium was considered a health benefit. The play highlights the hazardous working conditions that sometimes accompanied the independence women sought in having an income, while reiterating the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day.

“The production of ‘These Shining Lives’ is a story that touches on betrayal, survival and the strength of women in the face of oppression and adversity,” says Douglas Brown, the show’s director and associate professor of the Department of Theatre & Dance. “We are excited to reenact this moment in history where women refused to allow the company that stole their health to kill their spirits—or endanger the lives of those who came after them.”

For attendees interested in experiential learning, the Wanek School of Natural Sciences faculty and students will be available at the HPU Mobile Lab, which will be parked outside the theater during several performances, sharing opportunities to explore the properties of radiation and learn more about its effects. After the performance on Friday, Oct. 4, a panel of Wanek School of Natural Sciences faculty will be available to answer questions from the audience during a Q&A.

Performances are open to the public and complimentary tickets can be reserved at 

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