We have been working for many weeks to prepare this resource guide for you and we hope that you find it useful when helping your students learn from our production of Radium Girls, either before or after seeing the show.
In 1926, radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she fights for her day in court. Her chief adversary is her former employer, Arthur Roeder, an idealistic man who cannot bring himself to believe that the same element that shrinks tumors could have anything to do with the terrifying rash of illnesses among his employees. As the case goes on, however, Grace finds herself battling not just with the U.S. Radium Corporation, but with her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. Called a "powerful" and "engrossing" drama by critics, Radium Girls offers a wry, unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsessions with health, wealth, and the commercialization of science.
The main concept behind this guide is to provide a series of pre- and post-show activities. We hope that you will review these activities and consider using the pre-show activities in your classroom before you attend the performance. It is not necessary to complete these activities in order to understand the work, but the more information the students have before they see the show, the richer their experience will be at the performance.
Each individual activity concludes with a series of reflective discussion questions which will help the students to process their experiences as well as allow them to demonstrate achievement towards the New York State Learning Standards for the Arts.
Thank you for coming to our production and we hope that you will consider coming again in the future.