These Shining Lives Analysis

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“What happens when you are not taken care of properly, at work?” This is a question, Catherine Donohue and her friends/co-workers had to face, in Melanie Marnich’s These Shining Lives. I was amazed by the fact that the play is based on a true story about The Radium Dial Girls and their contributions to history. For director Sally J. Robertson to present it to the public is a constant reminder on how important the role of women has changed in society. After watching the play, it was incredible being both entertained and educated at the same time.

The plot of the play is set in Chicago & Ottawa, Illinois during the 1920s & 1930s. It was a time when America experienced prosperity and turmoil, along with liberal freedom for women. That means having the right to vote, and working outside the home. For protagonist Catherine Donohue, it was the start of a tumultuous relationship of her job at Radium Dial Company where she creates watches for $8.00 a day. During her time there, she meets three women with distinct personalities: Moral-Minded Frances, Talkative Pearl and Headstrong Charlotte. Together, the four of them create a strong bond, becoming more like sisters. However, a drastic change occurs at the company, when many workers (and sadly, Charlotte) suffer an illness that is
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It touches on a true story that has been overlooked throughout history, and needs to be shown in the spotlight more. For Melanie Marnich & Sally J. Robertson to present a topic of how a group of women stood up for their rights without being silent, is something that should remind women of all ages no matter who you are and where you come from, you have a voice to be heard. These Shining Lives is another excellent play that I have been able to watch from beginning to end. I definitely recommend this play for women ages 13 and over, if you love theatre or just interested in history, in
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