The University of California Institute for Research in the Arts supports embedded arts research through critical exchange

Melanie Marnich’s These Shining Lives

by Melanie Marnich

Dates: 11/9/12 – 11/17/12
Location: Performing Arts Theater, UCSB campus
Cost: $13/Student, Seniors, UCSB Faculty, Staff & Alumni; $17/General Admission

Directed by Tom Whitaker

Friday, November 9 | 8pm — Opening Night!
Saturday, November 10 | 2pm
Saturday, November 10 | 8pm
Sunday, November 11 | 2pm

Tuesday, November 13 | 8pm
Wednesday, November 14 | 8pm
Thursday, November 15 | 8pm
Friday, November 16 | 8pm
Saturday, November 17 | 2pm
Saturday, November 17 | 8pm

Performing Arts Theater (No Late Seating!), UCSB campus

These Shining Lives, by Melanie Marnich

In 1922 the Radium Dial Company established a dial-paining studio in Ottawa, Illinois. By 1925 the Ottawa studio became the largest dial-painting studio in the United States, producing over 4,000 glow-in-the-dark watch dials per day. The Radium Dial Company offered the ideal employment opportunity for young women in the 1920s and 1930s, with enjoyable work and competitive pay. But the job that offered these young women a newfound freedom soon became their worst nightmare. In 1927 the first female dial painter died of what would later be diagnosed as extreme radium poisoning. Thirty-four more documented cases, and probably many more undocumented women followed suit over the next fifteen years. However in 1936 Catherine Wolfe Donahue and a small group of fellow dial painters, dubbed by the press “The Society of the Living Dead,” filed a lawsuit against the Radium Dial Company. The Radium Dial Company appealed the case seven times. Catherine Donahue died in 1938 without ever seeing a cent of compensation. Finally, in 1939, the U.S. Supreme Court denied Radium Dial’s last appeal, and the Radium Dial workers were awarded $16,000.

These Shining Lives celebrates how, in the midst of a nation recovering from war and suffering a major economic depression, a small group of people can find strength in gathering together to fight for their labor and healthcare rights, to hold big business accountable for the human casualties it leaves in its wake. The women in this play made incredible strides in making their voices heard, and proving that their lives and health matter.

The Performing Arts Theater is an intimate venue, please get your tickets well in advance as seating is very limited.

The department’s productions are not targeted to children. | Please contact 805-893-3022 with special needs. | Season schedule subject to change.

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