Bringing it to THEM – A Second of Day of Radium Girls Discoveries

beginning-set-start“Are you going tonight?”  A pause.  “It IS the same cast though…”

As I was asked on Friday if I would be also attending the second show and second night of Radium Girls, I thought, well I mean, this IS the same cast.  However, the look on the casts faces when they were asking me? – In fact this set of a chain reaction of realizations.

Hold on with me for a bit, this IS about the second night of Radium Girls, but I need to branch off for a minute, but you’ll see the connection, HONEST!

Becoming a librarian from an English teacher was a huge step, and most that had not been a teacher before, or had been and had no previous librarian experience would fall into the trap of assuming what a librarian does and doesn’t do.  I was fortunate enough to have just wanted to volunteer at the Lewes, DE public library for a half of a semester to understand what actually was part of the day of a librarian.  In addition, I had started courses at the Mansfield University – c/o Laura Bush Scholarship for promoting librarians in the United States.  I had seen the differences in myself as a person, and the stereotypes people have of librarians – and I had even felt them among fellow librarians.  I had posted every discussion on our assignments with a pop culture- connected title before I delved into serious discussions.  This was not even truly an appreciated asset among colleagues, they felt I was “not serious” and “too social” to be a fellow librarian.  I took this as a compliment and from that day – I knew – I would need to set the record straight of what was expected of librarians, their goals, their possibilities and confine the stereotypes of the librarian to the rubbish.

Having previous experience as a community college instructor, English teacher, and tutor, I had been able to see later complications of what students struggle, both at a college and high school level.  In seeing this, I was determined to hit the areas that would two things, allow the library to be an area of interest to all individuals, not a cloister room of secrets, but a student, faculty, alumni, and patron union,  and to target the daunting piles of needs that always fall before a teacher.  

Organization, planning, research, inventory, organizing, statistics, surveys, calculating, budgeting, are just a small part of what a librarian does.  In a 21st Century World, and as an advisor of a student publication alongside an amazing-possibility-filled library, doing almost anything the way it has always been done, expecting the category of “that is not my job” to fill your day, and waiting for people to come to you, for them to come to the library – that doesn’t exist anymore.

Going to the very areas that you are not aware of, familiar with, or a regular participant in, be it sports, be it publications, be it the classroom, be it major events in your school, as a Librarian (but what I call and love better – a Media Specialist) if you embrace that old, outdated excuse, “That is not my Job” and realize, there is NOTHING that is not your job anymore, then the world becomes a playground for invention and you, as a media Specialist can be in the middle of it all, or behind a desk watching it all. 

I thought all this in a fraction as members of the cast stood in front of me and I realized, attending any production, be it Winter, Spring, and going to every show?  I learned something about showing my gratitude to the crew that makes this possible for us, I learned that I learned something new every night, and I learned I actually saw the students grown in front of me, be it in the stage, in the tech booth, on the stage crew, and behind the curtain, I opened myself up to something they were teaching me every night.  They deserved my utmost attention, inside the classroom, outside the classroom, on the field, on the stage, in the library, and between laptops as they designed pages for our upcoming publication.  I could focus on being the best “librarian” ever, but if the students are left out of the equation and bot having fun, being motivated, inspired, and finding what they want from my  profession, it all is for nought.

There are COUNTLESS definitions of being an educator I love, but one of the best is respecting the very students that make every day at school a new day, and that demands our respect in the form of attending and participating and motivating those very students in so many ways, that we should never be a hesitation to determine WHEN.  Every day I have made that a goal, my own personal life has been that much better, and I have never lacked for a personal life thanks to the positive attitude those around me keep providing.

Radium Girls? I overheard one of the cast stating this first night was the first night they felt as a cast- crew, they all felt it was clicking, syncing, and just they were all one. I think was also was in line with the actual first production and how well all the actors fell into their roles so naturally.  On the second night, you FELT this energy emanating from the stage.  It WAS even stronger and fluid than the first show, and seeing the fluid movements and decisions of the stage crew between scenes, the smoothness of the transitions light, sound, and tech movements that were made – it was one solid success and I STILL witnessed details I missed the first night.  The students are truly, one moving wave that get stronger as each tide of audience members support them, educators being a huge factor in this.  

See below some of the changes from the first night productions – and this last night? make it one you will never forget – because the Drama Club, ASF Theatre Company, Tech Club, and advisors will not let you forget anything you see, anytime soon.  The very characteristics I vowed to meet and rise above as just a “librarian” the cast and crew of Radium Girls have done in two solid nights, the third will be no exception.

Adrian – It almost seemed as the determination and stubbornness increased in this second night, and his volume raised even more.  His asset to the overall play increased tenfold just as the board of the U.S. Radium Corporation were doing everything in their power to do the same with their own profits, at the treatment towards others.  He brings this home 100%.   Representing Arthur Roeder was a masterpiece and the stream of consciousness that results.

Ana PaulaAgain, as a simple narrator, her level of bringing a a consciousness to the audience still remains, and yet, she appears even stronger and determined to get this message between the lines across to the audience.  Aside from her clothes matching the era perfectly, her versatility in all roles can’t be overlooked.

Anna VictoriaRepresenting the voice and tone of an era, again, Ana is able to bring the tone of a generation out.  Wanting her to raise her volume a bit more, the audience in the last night will truly grab the accent and voice of how a majority felt when they see here multiple places on stage.

Analise – The straight forward, no nonsense demeanor that becomes the face of the U.S. Radium Corporation only takes a moment to be 100% dead on or 100% not fitting.  Analise, as a clerk representing U.S. Radium Corporation, and worker from within, is still able to show her versatility.  I like the brief shock she shows when she is told the worker in question from the role played by Annabella has died, but I think she will increase that moment of shock even stronger for the last performance.  It is awesome to see again, how another cast member can bounce from one role to another.

Andrea – The ease with how Andrea transitions from worker to part of the public is exceptional.  It is amazing if you think of never seeing Andrea on stage before and it seems that she easily could have built up to more roles if she had started this earlier.  it is great to see her on the stage.  Again, she does represent the  tone perfectly during this era as a cast member.

Anabella –  Representing a Kathryn Schaub in an era where women were considered followers of men, is ironic.  Anabella fits the role perfectly, but she is definitely not an individual that would need to follow, she brings the power of Kathryn with an even stronger wave with her emotions as headstrong, stubborn, and strong-willed through every scene – yet you see the injustice done with each of her motions.

Camille –Certainly you would expect the heroine to be a focal point of strength.  In representing Grace Fryer, Camille is able to follow through and through as a pillar of strength with and builds an emotional consciousness, with each progressing scene.  She represents all the women that had such a life-changing, ending, and transforming life that goes beyond one incident and affected so much of the world.

Caroline – As Nancy Jane Harlan, you sense the rivalry between tabloids even closer and more intensely – seeing the specific facial reactions feeding off each other with each announcement.  LOVE this interaction and so will you.  

Emiliano I realized that Emiliano could play as bad as a character as well as playing the hero of the day with being the judge – VERY well.  Playing two sides of a coin is made even more his speciality as I noticed in night two.

 Giulia – For some reason I noticed the hat and attire even more this second night but again, in looking across the crows that makes up an era, it is pretty to see Giulia is livening up the individuals that make up this era to the absolute maximum level. You can feel at any role she connects with, it will be a successful one.

Ingrid Again, as a spokeswoman, strict regulator of visitors that Katherine Kiley’s attention, Ingrid’s capability is as bright and sure as the dazzling attire she exhibits of the era.  A great part of this cast for sure.

Jorge – Jorge continues to dig into the role of the family man, supporter, admired, and stand up man for a community and era that becomes unwound.  His determination to make the right choices, for himself, those he loves, and his community are a standout and he seemed to be even more determined in the second night.

Lucia – You almost are waiting for that set jaw, determined walk in face of opposition, and smile that assures everyone around her of success to take off in song.  If you have seen her past successes, then you know what a strength Lucia brings to the role of Katherine Kiley and those that suffered during this event.  Each confident step is felt throughout the whole production.

Mariana – Mariana becomes the premonition of what is to come involving radium with a continued confidence and with an increased volume from the first night, you felt it seven stronger.  As Marie Curie she matches the confidence many put into science as well as into the realm of businesses of the time.

Marion – Certainly playing up the pressure to follow the norm and not go against the grain, as the mother not wanting to represent resistence, she plays this role well.  Her increased volume help not only hear that, but you sense it in the actions and looks she throws out as those around her.  It might not be noticed the first show, but certainly is there if you are looking for it. 

Matthew – You get the smooth, slick, and cool/stylish talk that represents all you’d want to see and here of someone trying to be persuasive, cool, and influential.  Someone you would not want to disappoint. He does this well, and his ability to raise his voice even more in the second show you sensed this character through and through.  Job well done!    He is able to definitely represent the movement of an era, and do so well.

OliviaNoticing how extremely light-hearted and happy she is as a worker in the beginning, then seeing her transition due to the conditions around you hits you very very hard.  She makes it difficult to put the results of a callous sense of humanity represented in the name of business.  Her name  mentioned  as Irene Rudolph– named throughout the production, will not be easily forgotten due to her performance.

Pablo –  Jack Youngwood represents all the energy, hope, competitiveness, and will to be the top dog though his periodic narration, announcing-style voice, and enthusiasm.  His reactions to any competitive stories are well represented, and a mainstay of this production as the plot advances.

Pablo Gu.Even more determined to steer the course and not deviate from a destructive path, Pablo brings you from step one the to vert last step, never giving up, and not backing down, despite the cost.  His determination and stubbornness is seen is his walk, heard in his almost always callous/directed voice, and his role is a constant reminder throughout the whole production of the presence U.S. Radium Corporation has.

Paola – You sense even more in the second night the disappointment, confusion, and shock she feels as the wife of Arthur Roeder. In fact, you realize how much she represents the whole community in her relating comments made to her by that community.  Her role as an individual between the company and families affected is very real and well represented.

PedroIt is not difficult to see the confidence, irony, and humor Pedro brings to this role in so many roles and parts of the production.  Many iconic roles are represented in his characters and he is a memorable part of commentary, narration, and the sides of the Radium Corporation many do not want to see or hear, and that in fact do realize by the end.  Almost representing a conscience, Pedro again brings to the audience a role that justifies easily his overall complement to this production.

Sebastian – Being able to change positions, both what seems evil and good is made to look easily behind the accent Sebastian plays out.  His ability to bring an acknowledgement of actions to Arthur Roeder, as well  as mark the beginning of the end is very well done.  The revelations he lives through is made quite personal to the audience and you see the absolute asset he becomes on the stage as Dr. Von Sochocky. He plays the role of inventor and miscalculated reason of a horrible incident with even more ease on the second night.

Sofia – I missed the initial start of the show on the first night and noticed /and initially missed) the power of the corporation Sofia represents.  In the highest expectation you’d expect to see in a head mistress, Sofia delves out disappointment, expectations, and a factory mentality from every strict action and word.  A great role filled as you’d want to to be played out.

Stefan – He plays the part of being one of the corporation board members and then the voice of a turning point quite well. You see this ability as being able to do more in roles in the future, which is promising.  He successful helps moves the play forward in his confident narrating and acting ability to let audiences know how all is advancing.

Yankel – Being the last barrier to change, the last step to a successful verdict carries such weight.  I saw a second night of Yankel carrying that responsibility even heavier in the second night as the lawyer Raymond Berry.  His conviction of giving back false hope to the factory girls seems to push him even stronger in questioning Lucia (Katherine) of the chance of their success.  Ultimately, this shows his human nature as an individualsilhouette1.JPG being the pivotal point of this play, and he does it well. 

A third night of not catching this production will leave you with not realizing the ability to represent such a powerful event, as evident in those behind the scenes in the form of directors, managers, technical crews, makeup, sound, costume and the impressive outlet for all of these in the actors.  What a gift is has been to catch this agreement of collaboration of the actors working as one successful unit, proving they have much more to you in the remaining year.  Kudos ASF Theatre Company, you have shown us you are the brightest lights that can be seen on and off stage.

 

 

 

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About Harry Brake

Employee of ASF in Mexico City, Librarian, Media crazy! :)
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