Radium Girls Showcases Impressive Acting, Props, and Makeup

By AM C. ’25

On January 13, 2023, The Foxcroft Mainstage and Technical Theater Class put on the historical play Radium Girls. The play recounts the influential case of watch-dial painters in the 1920s. During this time period, few knew the horrible side effects of the luminous radium paint, which led to the poisoning deaths of multiple dial painters.
Radium Girls follows Grace Fryer (played by Heidi D. ’23), a dial painter for the United States Radium Corporation, who pursued multiple challenges and obstacles to gain improved worker rights. While working at the factory, Grace was a loyal and determined worker, but that began to change when she noticed coworkers, such as Irene Rudolph (Moriah F. ’24), becoming deathly ill. When Grace began to notice the odd changes in her coworkers and herself, she started to investigate the cause of these ailments with her friend and coworker, Kathryn Schaub (Anila S. ’25). 
As Katherine and Grace search for an answer, they become weaker and weaker as the radium poisoning becomes stronger. Meanwhile, the United States Radium Corporation tries to hide the fact that their product, radium, is killing their workers. Later in the play, the Radium Girls decide to sue the company that is killing them, and the United States Radium Corporation does not like it (because their reputation as the largest radium distributor is being destroyed). In an attempt to get the Radium Girls to withdraw the lawsuit, United States Radium Corporation tries to make deals and compensations to keep the girls quiet, but they keep their chin high and pursue the lawsuit to bring justice to all of the Radium Girls.

The Mainstage and Technical Theater Class did an amazing job with the entire production. The actors took on impressive roles and delivered a jaw-dropping show, and somehow brought a little humor to the play (even though it is a very serious show). The set, props, and costumes brought the audience into a completely different era and transformed the FoxHound stage into a time capsule of various scenes and locations. The props had secret meanings in each scene that enhanced the theme of the show. The makeup and lighting were very well timed as we could see the actors become poisoned by the radium and glow like a ghost in the green light.

Everyone who worked on Radium Girls did a stunning job and we can’t wait for the spring musical!! Thank you to everyone who participated in this production, and a special thank you to our director Ms. Thorndike, and faculty members, Mr. Morris and Ms. Kat, who made this production come together!

View the full cast and program.
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An all-girls boarding and day school in Northern Virginia, Foxcroft prepares young women in grades 9-12 for success in college and in life. Our outstanding academic program offers challenging courses, including Advanced Placement classes and an innovative STEM program. Our premiere equestrian program is nationally recognized, and our athletic teams have won conference and state championships. Experience the best in girls' boarding schools: visit Foxcroft.