These Shining Lives: Pierrettes Tell Story of Strong Women

By Emily Ramser

    Real women, real stories; it sounds like the tagline for The Vagina Monologues, but it means something different when applied to Pierrettes’ fall semester production, These Shining Lives.

    These Shining Lives is a play from the early 2000s written by Melanie Marnich, an American playwright and television writer. These Shining Lives it is based on the true stories of four women who worked in a watch factory in the 1920s. Their job was to paint radium numbers on watches to make them glow. Sarah Vick, C’18, describes the story of the efforts these women made to change the working world for following generations.

     “The radium affects the health of the women,” says Vick, who plays the lead of the show.
“They are fired for being sick and decide to go after the company. There were no workers’ protection laws at the time, so we made history and get the laws passed and set a precedent.”

    Vick’s character, Catherine, is the woman who sues the company directly. The other leading roles, played by Kerri Hughes C’17, Peyton Parker C’18, and Kenzie Confer C’19, are the women who helped to support her during her controversial lawsuit.

     “I’m looking forward to sharing the true stories of the trailblazing women who were courageous enough to stand up for their beliefs despite all the hardships they faced,” says Vick.

    Confer feels that thus far, the play has not only helped her to connect to her character and her character’s story but also to the Salem community.

     “I feel like I’ve really been immersed in a group that I’ll get to be a part of for the rest of my time here at Salem… and I’ve grown close to the other three cast members that have leads, as well as everyone I’m getting to work with.” Confer said.

    These Shining Lives plays in the Drama Workshop of the Fine Arts Center at Salem College at 8 p.m. September 24-6 and closes with a matinee on September 27 at 2 p.m.

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