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Kansas Wesleyan University

Fans of the theatre will have three chances to see KWU’s latest production, “Radium Girls,” during Homecoming Weekend 2023. Shows will run Oct. 19 (7 p.m.), Oct. 20 (7 p.m.) and Oct. 22 (2 p.m.) in Fitzpatrick Auditorium.

“This year, our Theatre Arts students asked to perform a dramatic play,” said Karen Brassea, associate professor of theatre arts and the play’s director. “Although they loved performing comedic pieces like “The 39 Steps” and “Arsenic and Old Lace,” “Radium Girls” provides them with a new challenge because it is a play based on true events. It examines the social conscience of each character in the midst of discoveries regarding both the positive effects of radium (such as the shrinking of cancerous tumors) and its extreme dangers.”

“Radium Girls” was written by D.W. Gregory and is produced by special arrangement with the Dramatic Publishing Company of Woodstock, Ill. The play is based on the true story of the women and men who worked for the United States Radium Corp. in Orange, N.J., and who painted luminous watch faces in the early 1920s. The paint was radioactive, thanks to the presence of radium, leading to severe illnesses and death among the workers.

In addition, representation from the Kennedy Center’s American College Theatre Festival will be on hand, with the goal of determining KWU’s eligibility to apply to perform at that prestigious event.

“These performers are not only Theatre Arts majors,” said Brassea. “We have students majoring in seven different disciplines performing in “Radium Girls!” The combination of well-rounded, experienced actors and those still gaining experience coming together creates a safe zone for growth and team building. We’re excited to see the results!”

Complimentary tickets are available for all patrons, courtesy of Eyecare Associates. However, reservations are requested and can be made at