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The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

The official student news site of Dougherty Valley High School.

The Wildcat Tribune

DVHS Drama brings intrigue and emotion with “Radium Girls”

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  • The cast of “Radium Girls” brings life to the historically-inspired story.

  • The cast of “Radium Girls” brings life to the historically-inspired story.

  • The cast of “Radium Girls” brings life to the historically-inspired story.

  • The cast of “Radium Girls” brings life to the historically-inspired story.

  • The cast of “Radium Girls” brings life to the historically-inspired story.

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The lights dim, and the curtains sweep open. On stage, the set pieces – including a large clock – glow fluorescent green, an omen of what’s about to occur. This is the start of “Radium Girls,” DVHS Drama’s annual play that ran from Oct 26 – 28.

Set in 1926 when radium is all the rage, the play centers around Grace Fryer (Zeina Obeidi), of many girls working to paint radium on watch dials in the U.S. Radium plant. Radium is seen as a “miracle cure,” until the girls at the plant start falling ill with a mysterious illness. Based on a true story, the play follows Grace as she fights for justice in court, battling her money-hungry employer Arthur Roeder (Kush Rajesh).

The plot unravels slowly, building through scenes that initially seem unrelated. The audience begins to connect the dots along with the characters, adding another level of depth to the story. Scenes are often isolated, among just a few characters.

The simple set design also works to the actors’ advantage – at one point, there are three distinct small groups on stage simultaneously. The spotlight switches between each group as they carry on their individual conversations, helping stitch together the story.

In this very character-focused show, each actor plays their part to perfection, nailing the delivery of their lines and mannerisms on stage.

This type of scene is just one of the unique narration styles employed by the cast of “Radium Girls.” Two reporters (Robin Dhillon and Vikram Potluri) call out attention-grabbing headlines, effortlessly guiding the story as they report the news coverage of Grace’s court case. Even an argument between Arthur Roeder and his wife Diane (Aleena Sarosh) is a key part of the story.

Side character dialogue is riveting and crucial as well, because of the nuanced character interactions throughout the play. Brianna Bothello, playing Dr. Francis Flinn only appears in a couple of brief scenes. But as she crosses from “reassuring” Grace to soliciting a bribe from Arthur Roeder, her role as corrupt doctor exposes the corruption that runs through the story. Throughout the show, actors do an excellent job of subtly conveying their motivations and interests, crafting another layer of intrigue beyond just the basic plot.

In this very character-focused show, each actor plays their part to perfection, nailing the delivery of their lines and mannerisms on stage. Irene and Kathryn (Lauren Quimson and Keira Punsal), two of the first Radium Girls to get sick, truly pulled on the audience’s heartstrings with the pain in their emotional expression. Similarly, Grace’s visible anguish and determination ensured that viewers were invested in the characters’ stories and were rooting for the girls to get justice.

Rather than flashy costumes or big musical numbers, the talent of the “Radium Girls” cast is what made the show so riveting. Inner conflict, guilt and sacrifice run through the show, and these complex emotions are executed well, giving the audience a depth of understanding into each character. Ultimately, “Radium Girls” managed to showcase Dougherty’s performing arts talent while putting their special touch on the historical story.

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About the Contributors
Tanvi Rao, Arts and Entertainment Editor
Tanvi joined the Wildcat Tribune to develop her writing skills and step out of her comfort zone, and she stayed for the amazing community. She has been on the Tribune for four years, and this is her second year as the Arts & Entertainment editor. Her goal for journalism is to try out new kinds of stories, especially multimedia! One fun fact about Tanvi is that she's an expert at making smoothies. If she could be anyone else on the Tribune she would be Suhani, because of her excellent style and dedication to Trader Joe's.
Reyna Jimenez, Staff Writer
Reyna joined the Tribune to have an outlet where she can express her creativity through writing. She was previously in J1. In her free time, she likes to bake for her family, draw, play the bass, and wrestle. Reyna's goal this year is to get outside of her comfort zone as much as possible and experiment in all mediums. If she could be anyone on the Tribune, she would be Janvi because she’s very articulate, and always sits in the most comfortable chair during class.

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