“Radium Girls” on Avonworth stage

Cast members standing, from left: David Bindley, Sam King, Lucas McDonald, Toni Keller; Seated: Carolyn Abramowich, Gabby Walko, Maura Corder. Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen

“In 1926, radium was a miracle cure. Madame Curie was an international celebrity, and luminous watches were a fashion rage,” writes theater and book critic D. W. Geary.

But the fashion of that era, wristwatches with numbers and dials that gave off an eerie glow, soon turned into the nightmare of that era as the girls who applied the paint to those numbers and rotating dials began to show symptoms of a serious illness.

This is the background to Avonworth High School’s fall play, “Radium Girls,” which will be performed Nov. 15 -18 with performances at 7:30 p.m. and with a 2 p.m. matinee on Nov. 18. Tickets cost $8 for adults and $6 for students and senior citizens.

The plot traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, who seeks justice and compensation for her co-workers, as well as for herself.

Under the direction of Deborah Frauenholz, the production is staged theater-in-the-round, which provides a closer bond between performers and audience members, but limits audience size. Tickets may be purchased in advance during school lunch hours or by visiting avonworthtickets@gmail.com.