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Park Players Present: Radium Girls

Park+Players+Present%3A+Radium+Girls

The Park Players are putting on a production of Radium Girls on November 10, 11, and 12. The show is staged in the JB Chambers Performing Arts Center and begins at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a final matinee performance on Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for k-12 students outside of OCS, and free for all OCS students. Tickets can be purchased at wphswv.booktix.net.

Radium Girls is a story that follows a young woman named Grace Fryer. Grace was a dial painter among other young girls from 1920 to 1928. As the story progresses, the girls begin to get very sick after working for the US Radium Corporation. The show takes place before it was known that radium was extremely dangerous. As the play progresses, the girls struggle in the fight for justice and compensation from the company. Addy Perks is the actress portraying Grace Fryer.

“Grace goes to the factory at fifteen and as the play progresses, Grace gets older and wiser. She is powerful and she wants justice for her and her friends. I make sure that I split my time between speech practice and fall play rehearsals. I try to balance my time well,” Perks said.

As well as being an actress in the show, Addy is co-caption of the Speech and Debate Team. Addy is an example of a student who takes advantage of what the school has to offer. Perks’ character is mirrored by the main antagonist of the story, Arthur Roeder, played by Ayden Cottrill. Cottrill has been an avid member of the theater program during his time at WPHS.

“I love being a part of the school’s theater program, it’s just so much fun and it’s so amazing to see the shows come together,” Cottrill shared.

Actress Taylor Anderws portrays three characters in the show, Irene Rudolph, Harriet Roeder, and Board Member Number Two.

“Theater is what I want to do with my life so any production that I have the ability to be a part of is amazing for me,” Andrews said.

Whilst some performers shine under the spotlight, others shine just as bright behind the scenes. Rylin Russell is the stage manager of Radium Girls.

“During tech week I made sure that everything was in its place, that meant actors props, and set pieces. I make sure that everything runs smoothly. My favorite part of being the stage manager is making sure that things go well, but the hardest part is making everything go well,” said Russell.

Radium Girls is directed by Mrs. Nelson. She has been directing Wheeling Park’s fall plays since 2018. Along with directing, Mrs. Nelson is a coach for the Speech and Debate Team. Nelson teaches Fundamentals of Communication and CP English Literature and Composition. She balances all three wonderfully.

“It isn’t easy, I can tell you that, but I am fortunate to work with an amazing team of production assistants, coaches, and student leaders. It takes a village to ensure we have a successful production and speech and debate season. I am fortunate to work with this group of students and teachers,” Nelson said.

Choosing this year’s play was not a topic taken lightly.

“Each year, I always have a few scripts selected before auditions. Depending on whether the play is a comedy or drama, I request that auditioners perform a monologue that reflects one of those genres. During auditions, it becomes clear to me which play we can successfully produce. I have wanted to direct Radium Girls for a couple of years, and I am excited to have the opportunity to direct this cast in the production,” Nelson shared.

Participating in school-related activities is a wonderful way to become involved with your school community. If you are considering giving acting a try, Park Players is an amazing place to start.

“Auditioning can be a fun and rewarding experience. It’s a chance to showcase their talents, gain confidence, and make new friends. Even if they don’t get a role, I would encourage them to join one of our tech crews because being part of our productions is a memorable and enriching experience,” Nelson stated.

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About the Contributor
Anna Contraguerro, Copy Editor
  • Journalism II
  • Sophomore
  • Speech and Debate Team, Park Players
  • "I have been involved in over 15 Towngate productions and have also placed in 5 creative writing contests in the Tri-State Area."
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