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The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

“Radium Girls” takes the stage

Ashton+Persick%2C+Lanie+LeFranc%2C+Annabelle+Snow+and+DeJuan+James+acting+out+the+story+of+the+Radium+Girls+for+the+audience+on+preview+night+Wednesday%2C+Jan.+31
Eva Saladino
Ashton Persick, Lanie LeFranc, Annabelle Snow and DeJuan James acting out the story of the “Radium Girls” for the audience on preview night Wednesday, Jan. 31

Tonight, Southeastern’s Alpha Psi Omega’s production of “Radium Girls” is taking the stage at the Columbia Theatre in downtown Hammond. The show will run until Saturday, Feb. 3, at 7 p.m.

Directing the production is Southeastern alumna Ally Holloway. This is her first solo directing credit after recently co-directing “Aladdin! Choose Your Own Arabian Night” alongside SLU professor Jim Winter.

“Radium Girls” is a drama written by playwright D.W. Gregory and based on the female laborers in America during the twentieth century who underwent radium poisoning from paint used at the United States Radium Corporation Plant. 

Gregory’s plays focus primarily on political issues in American culture from a comical and witty perspective. In addition to being a nominee and winner of several awards, she is affiliated with The Playwrights’ Center, the National New Play Network and is a writer for youth theater. 

Ashton Persick, a junior graphic design major who plays the lead Grace Fryer, said, “Grace is not some girl boss who instantly takes the bull by the horns. Instead she is just a normal person who got involuntarily put in a horrible situation and despite doing her best to try to fight it, she eventually sees what is happening to her and her friends is not going to be resolved unless they take a stand.” 

The Radium Girls case was one of the first where a company was held liable for its employees’ safety and led to the creation of the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). The women sued the U.S. Radium Corporation and due to their advocacy, workplace radioactivity protections were implemented. 

“To me, this is a story about the strength of human spirit in the face of corporate greed. It just so happens that this is a story based on true events, so the process has been an interesting one to tackle,” Southeastern alumni Dejuan James, who plays the male lead Roeder, said.

While presenting the tragic and true events these women endured, this production tackles important social issues that are still relevant over a century later. As a result of both sexism and a lack of labor rights, the Radium Girls case had great significance and a tremendous workforce impact. 

Annabelle Snow is a senior marketing major with a minor in theater who is producing “Radium Girls” alongside playing Kathryn and other roles.

“Being in the show and being one of the producers for the show has proven to be quite the feat. It is a lot at times but I wouldn’t trade it in. It’s been really nice to be able to have my creativity as an actor, but to also work behind the scenes on everything else in the show,” Snow said. 

Tickets are sold through Brown Paper Tickets. Visit APO’s website, Instagram or Facebook for more information on the chapter and upcoming performances. 

“I am consistently humbled and honored by how talented my cast is and how much they trust me, and watching them fully embrace and embody these characters from history has been such a rewarding journey,” Holloway said.

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About the Contributor
Eva Saladino, Staff Reporter
Eva Saladino is an English major with a concentration in creative writing. She has been a member of The Lion's Roar team since March of 2023 and works as a staff reporter. She hopes to have a children's book published after she graduates college and hopes to work as an environmental writer for the National Parks Magazine.
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