By: Jonathan Levin  | 

Stern College Dramatics Society To Hold First Play Since 2019 In December

The Stern College Dramatics Society (SCDS) will hold its first theatrical performance in two years this December. The play, “Radium Girls,” will be performed at the Schottenstein Theater near Wilf Campus late in the month.

Radium Girls will be directed by Prof. Reuven Russell, with Tzivia Major as stage manager and 24 students in acting and supporting roles. Performance dates will be on Dec. 19, 20, 21 and 23. Tickets are currently being sold online.

The last production from SCDS, “Defying Gravity,” was held in December 2019 before the start of the pandemic. Unlike last year, when New York’s theaters were closed due to the pandemic, theaters throughout the city are now open, with Broadway theatres having opened at full capacity for vaccinated individuals in September 2021. 

The play, “Radium Girls,” by D.W. Gregory, was chosen by SCDS at the beginning of the semester and is based on the true story of a group of women hired by the U.S. Radium Corporation in the late 1910s and ‘20s to paint the dials of watches with green luminescent radium paint. What followed was a legal battle waged by the women in response to their exposure to the radioactive element.              

The cast for the SCDS’ play will consist of nine students as actors playing approximately thirty roles, and roughly another fifteen in crew positions, including props, costume design, hair and makeup, house manager and treasurer.

The show's cast has been preparing for their performance since the start of the fall semester, attending nightly rehearsals for two to four hours Monday through Thursday; as the performance date draws near, rehearsals will be held Sunday nights as well.

This semester will be the third time that SCDS members will receive credit for their performance. Unlike Yeshiva College Dramatics Society (YCDS) members on Wilf Campus, who have consistently received two credits for their performances since the 1970s, SCDS members received no credit for their plays until 2018, when, after years of student outcry, YU offered them credit under a two-credit course labeled “play production.”       

Russell is a graduate of Yale School of Drama, an instructor of speech at Stern College for Women and director of both SCDS’ and Yeshiva College Dramatics Society’s (YCDS) plays. Russel is currently scheduled to direct a play from YCDS on Wilf Campus this upcoming spring, the society’s first in three years. 

Both the cast members and Russell were excited about the performance and felt that its topic was both relevant and entertaining. “I am thrilled to be back in the Schottenstein Theater directing SCDS’s production of Radium Girls,” commented Russel.

“Radium Girls is a heartrending tale about corruption and the fight for justice in twentieth century America,” said Baila Landa (SCW ‘23), president of SCDS and a cast member of Radium Girls. “This is an idea that is still relevant today, and is sure to resonate with our audience.”

Editor's Note: This article was updated to mention that tickers are being sold online.

Photo Caption: Prof. Russell speaking with the cast of “Radium Girls”

Photo Credit: Stern College Dramatics Society