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Fox Chapel Area's 'Radium Girls' a heartbreaking, truthful production

Tawnya Panizzi
| Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, 1:54 p.m.
From left, Olivia Pistella, Kieran Bartels and Alyssa Melani rehearse a scene from Fox Chapel Area High School's production of 'Radium Girls.'
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
From left, Olivia Pistella, Kieran Bartels and Alyssa Melani rehearse a scene from Fox Chapel Area High School's production of 'Radium Girls.'
Karl Pil and Ella Tramontina rehearse a scene from Fox Chapel Area High School's production of 'Radium Girls,' Nov. 3.
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
Karl Pil and Ella Tramontina rehearse a scene from Fox Chapel Area High School's production of 'Radium Girls,' Nov. 3.
From left, Jonathan Stamy, Ameya Velandar, Director Kristiann Josephs and Sadie Lorence work on a scene from the Fox Chapel Area High School production of 'Radium Girls,' Nov. 3.
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
From left, Jonathan Stamy, Ameya Velandar, Director Kristiann Josephs and Sadie Lorence work on a scene from the Fox Chapel Area High School production of 'Radium Girls,' Nov. 3.
Nathaniel Meth rehearses a scene from 'Radium Girls,' the fall play at Fox Chapel Area High School.
Jan Pakler | For the Tribune-Review
Nathaniel Meth rehearses a scene from 'Radium Girls,' the fall play at Fox Chapel Area High School.

The plight of women who battle for better working conditions during World War II will come to life during Fox Chapel Area High School's fall play.

“Radium Girls” by D.W. Gregory is a drama with powerful dialogue and a sparse set. The plot focuses on women who work in a watch factory and grow ill from using radium-based paint.

“It's historically pretty accurate,” Director Kristiann Josephs said. “Anytime I choose something like this, people always come out to see it and the students are very interested and excited.”

The show is at 7 p.m. Nov. 9 to 11 in the high school auditorium, 611 Field Club Road. Tickets cost $8 and will be sold at the door. Senior Lindsay Arnone, an Aspinwall resident, serves as stage manager and student producer.

“I like how it puts me in a leadership role and teaches me a lot about time management and how much works goes into a production,” Arnone said. “I never liked being in the spotlight, so stage crew was the right fit for me.”

Alternately, senior actor Nathaniel Meth set out to overcome his stage fright and prove to himself that he could shine in front of an audience.

“What I love about theater is the thrill and satisfaction of a good show, and more specifically, a good job done, when you know that you've really managed to immerse the audience into the world that you and your peers have created,” he said.

Meth said audience members should expect a story that is funny, sad and relatable, but one that can make the audience conflicted about how they feel about each of the characters.

More than 20 students are participating this year, Josephs said.

Teacher Joseph Gass is the technical coordinator and teacher Mary Beth Dixon is the costume and props coordinator.

Arnone said that working in theater can create a family-like bond.

“Sure, there are times where you can't stand to be in the same room with your cast, but you get over it because they are the reason you put on such a great show,” she said.

The director added that this year's story shows how people will fight for what they believe in, no matter how difficult it is.

“If you want to see a story of truth, but also heartbreaking at times, this show is for you,” Josephs said.

Tawnya Panizzi is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach her at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, tpanizzi@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.

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