On November 14 and 16, the Upper School advanced theater class performed These Shining Lives, a one-act play written by Melanie Marnich. Set in the 1920s, the play tells the true story of a group of working women in a watch painting factory in Illinois called the Radium Dial Company. The watch faces were painted with a chemical called radium that glowed in the dark. The women would repeatedly take their brush, twirl it between their lips to make a point, and dip it in the radium. It was believed to be beneficial for your health. Unfortunately, radium is actually dangerous and toxic as the company would ignore. This play tells the heart-wrenching tale of the effects this poison had on the women and how they courageously stood up for themselves.
The MCA theater prepared for weeks and their hard work certainly paid off. The audience both laughed and cried as they received the full experience in the black-box theater room. Junior and lead actress Charli Bazor says, “We’re not all in the same grade, we’re not all in the same friend group, but once we’re all together we’re like a family and we all get along really well and we have good energy together.” Technical details greatly added to the performance and director Julie Tucker was thrilled with all her students’ effort and time in perfecting their roles. Tucker states, “I am most proud of the fact that everyone was prepared and took chances outside their comfort zone. Everyone took ownership of their roles, they were really committed to doing an excellent job, and doing their best is what made me most proud. ”