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WBC to Open Theatre Season


The Williams Baptist College theatre program opens its 2011-2012 season with the fall production of "These Shining Lives" by Melanie Marnich. The play will take place on Thursday, Oct. 27, and Friday, Oct. 28, beginning at 7:30 p.m. in WBC’s Old Chapel. 

"These Shining Lives" is a story based on the lives of four women working in a Chicago watch factory in the 1920's. At this time in history the economy is booming, and the women believe that they have one of the best jobs in the world. They enjoy what they do and make a suitable living for their families. However, the factory has been keeping a dark secret from them.

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.

According to Melinda Williams, director of the production, the play, based on a true story, has been a challenge for the performers. "It has been a moving experience for the actors to keep in mind that these characters are based on real people that suffered through a heart-breaking experience that could have been prevented," she said.

These "real" people, Williams added, actually laid the foundation for laws and guidelines that insured the safety of workers.

The cast includes: Catherine Donohue - Jessica Howington of Pine Bluff; Frances - Katie Harter of Paragould; Charlotte - Katie Williams of Imboden; Pearl - Anna Hayden of Conway; Tom Donohue - Cody Robinson of Marion; Rufus Reed - Will Ward of Clinton; Dr. Dalitsch and Reporter - Samantha Wilson of Batesville; Dr. Rowntree and Leonard Grossman - Brandt McDonald of Concord; The Company Doctor and Judge - Susan Watson of Walnut Ridge.

The technical staff is headed by seniors Will Ward as Stage Manager, Samantha Linderman of Mammoth Spring as Make-up and Hair Designer, Allison Smart of Rector as Costume Designer, and Katie Harter as Set Designer.

General admission for the public is three dollars. Senior citizens and students will be admitted for one dollar.

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