The Acrosstown Repertory Theatre begins its 36th season with a sorrowful play by Melanie Marnich that dramatizes the perils many women once faced in the workplace.
“This isn’t a fairytale, though it starts out like one. It’s not a tragedy, though it ends like one. It’s something else. We’re something else. …”
And with those opening lines from character/narrator Catherine Donohue, the tone is set for These Shining Lives, the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre’s (ART) 2016-17 season-opening production that will take audiences on an emotional journey into the lives of four ill-fated women.
The play tells the real-life story of four female workers who, in the 1920s, painted the tiny numerals on the faces of watches for the Radium Watch Dial Company only to discover that the luminous compound gave them radiation poisoning.
“They’re good, honest women and, through no fault of their own, they lose everything,” said Laura Jackson, who jumped at the opportunity to direct These Shining Lives for the Acrosstown. “It’s a very touching story.”
The play opens Friday night at 8 at the theater located in the Historic Baird Center, 619 S. Main St. Performances will take place Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. through Oct. 2. Tickets are $15, with discounts for students, seniors, military personnel and veterans.