By Lasley Cash
These Shining Lives, directed by Theatre Professor Maegan Azar, will premier at the Furman Playhouse this week. The play is set in the 1920s, beginning in the midst of World War I and ending with the devastation of the Great Depression, and the plot revolves around four women who work for a radium company in New York City.
The play explores the brutality the women face in dealing with hazardous working conditions without protection by the law. Throughout the play, the women continuously fight for change and safer worker conditions. The women struggle six times before they are able to win their case against the law, marking a turning point in American history.
“It is an awe-inspiring story and a really beautiful script,” said senior Tierney Breedlove, who plays one of the four main women. “The audience will be able to see strong relationships built between women, how it changed women’s lives at home, and an exploration of the revolutionary time of the ’20s.”
“The show tells a beautiful story that makes you fall in love with the women and share their hope for the future,” said senior Victoria Buck, who plays another of the main characters. “But the story will rip your heart out to discover their fate.”
“The play is very moving, and I hope the audience will be able to take out what I have personally gotten from it,” Breedlove said. “There is such life, energy, and camaraderie between the cast members — we can only hope what fun we have in performing it will be able to translate on stage.”
There are six total members in the cast — four lead women and two men. There are two understudies for the lead women’s roles, both of which are current freshmen. All four classes, freshman through senior, are represented in this small cast, and there are 20-30 people involved in the production of the performance as a whole.
“It takes an army to put up a show, and we were given such a wonderful crew to help us along each step of the way,” Breedlove said. “A show is never just about the actors.”
“It is a very powerful script, and it is nice because it is so relevant and something that everyone in the audience can relate to,” Buck said.
The show premieres Feb. 12 at 8 p.m. The show will be performed nightly at 8 p.m. from February 12-15 and Feb. 20-22 with one matinee performance Feb. 16 at 3 p.m. Student rush tickets will be sold for $5 before each performance and at regular price for $8. General admission tickets will be sold for $16. The performance qualifies for CLP credit, and interested students can visit the theatre department’s Facebook page for more pictures and information about the play.