Radium Girls: A Reflection

Roman Hulver

Bethany College’s Theatre Department presented Radium Girls from February 24-27, 2022. The show consisted of not only students, but also faculty and alumni. The show was about a girl, Grace Fryer, who was being poisoned by her employer, and how she fought for her justice. The production starred Yasmeene Henderson, a theatre and psychology double major, as her senior project.

 

Role

 

I never planned on stepping into the role of Charles Lee. As someone who is very tech theatre based, I never intended on stepping into the performance aspect of the show. However, when I was given the opportunity to play the character of Charles Lee, I did not expect it to be where it ended up.

 

When I originally did character work, the only way I could describe Lee was “what a guy”. There was really no way to properly describe him. However, working through the character, Lee was a hot head. He was loyal to the U.S. Radium Corporation, and only wanted what was in the best interest of the company. We took it to the level of caring so much about the company that couldn’t or didn’t want to understand why people were siding with the girls. At least, when we worked on my character, that’s the direction we decided to take the character. Personally, from my perspective, it fit really well. I’m glad we took Charles Lee’s character the direction that we did, and he will always be one of my favorite roles.

 

My Experience

 

This show has, personally, been one of the best shows I have been a part of during my entire theatre career. From this show we have built so many relationships among each of the cast and crew. Friendships that will last a lifetime, and a family that we have all built with each other. This production took months of hard work, but the outcome was worth every second of it. The cast and crew have gotten nothing but love and praise from fellow students, professors, faculty, and community members.

 

Everyone in this production process worked hard to put on a show to its highest potential. It was amazing to see so many students stepped up into leadership positions in order to put on an amazing show. The show really showed how much people love theatre, and how much it can shape and change people’s lives. It was also exciting to see that the 90% of the cast made their Bethany stage debut during the production of Radium Girls.

 

It’s exciting to see that theatre is live and well and constantly growing. Especially while we still live in a world with COVID-19, it’s great to see people in theatre working hard in their craft during these times. It’s a beautiful thing to watch people take on characters, as well as designers' creations coming to life on stage. The amount of hard work that goes into a show should be something that is not overlooked. I am personally excited to see how theatre at Bethany will continue to grow, and I encourage students even if you don’t have a theatre background, to get involved.