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"These Shining Lives" Continues Tonight


Lunch break. Left to right: Katie Harter, Anna Hayden, Katie Williams and Jessica Howington from the cast of "These Shining Lives" rehearse a picnic scene for the play, which will be staged Oct. 27 & 28 at WBC.

The Williams Baptist College Theatre Department will perform "These Shining Lives" by Melanie Marnichn on Thursday and Friday, October 27 and 28. The play begins at 7:30 p.m. both days.

"These Shining Lives" is a story based on the lives of four women working in a Chicago watch factory in the 1920s. The paint they have been using to apply the watch faces is radioactive, and the women have become very sick. One of the women, Catherine Donohue, tells the story of her struggle to survive, and the disappointment she feels in knowing that the job she loves is killing her.

Jessica Howington, who plays Catherine Donohue, is tackling her first lead. "I am very excited about the play. I love this character. I hope I can do her justice and everyone loves her as much as I do," she said. Howington is a sophomore from Pine Bluff.

The character of Catherine Donohue is new to the factory, while the three other women are veterans at Radium Dial Company. One of the three, Charlotte Purcell, is played by Katie Williams, a senior from Imboden. "This may be the most excited I have been about a play in a while. It is very powerful and emotional. All of the characters are very three-dimensional," Williams said.

Katie Harter of Paragould plays one of the other women at the factory, Frances O'Connoll. Harter, a senior from Paragould, is also taking on her first major technical job as set designer. "I enjoyed bringing their lives to reality through both the acting and designing the set," Harter said.

Director Melinda Williams noted the way the play has affected the cast, commenting, "These ladies, the characters, have become a big part of our lives in the past few weeks. They have become a part of all of us. The empathy we all feel for these characters is tremendous."

The production will be held in WBC’s Old Chapel. General admission is three dollars, while senior citizens and students will be admitted for one dollar.

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