The Earthquake and Tsunami that struck Japan last March and the resultant nuclear accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant have reminded us of man's frailty in the face of natural forces and man's unique ability to persevere in spite of it. The J's Cultural Arts Theatre (J-CAT) will explore these themes while raising money for the Japanese victims of the Fukushima disaster throughout the run of their upcoming production of “Radium Girls “ May 11-22.
Radium Girls by D.W. Gregory and directed by Dr. Michael Andron, tells the story of radiation's first victims; female watch dial painters at the U.S. Radium Corporation plant in the 1920s. At a time when Radium was thought to be anything from a fun novelty to the next wonder drug, these naive women could not comprehend the risks they took when, at the urging of their supervisors, they placed radium laced paint brushes in their mouths to shape the point. Though exploited, poisoned, and dying, the play's heroine, Grace Fryer, finds the strength to stand up to the company that poisoned her.
"As the audience witnesses the spiral of each character and becomes aware of how radium changed their lives forever, the play unearths the very emotions and concerns we feel for the Japanese people after radiation exposure," said Njie Sabik. "The fear that the Japanese people are facing parallel those of the 'radium girls' as they come to realize that they were poisoned for simply doing their jobs," added cast member Peggy Linker.
"After visiting Japan this past Fall I fell in love with the people and culture," explained Danielle Tamir, who will play Grace Fryer in the production. "Once the nuclear crises began, I was taken back to the atomic bomb museum in Hiroshima- to the awful pictures of nuclear fallout. I immediately saw the eerie connection between my involvement in Radium Girls and the current nuclear crises."
It was on Tamir's urging that J-CAT has decided to incorporate fundraising for the Japanese quake victims into the production's run. For each Radium Girls ticket sold, J-CAT will donate a portion of the proceeds, and donations from the audience will be collected at the end of every performance. Radium Girls will premiere on Wednesday, May 11 at 7 pm with additional performances on Thursday, May 12 at 7 pm; Saturday, May 14 at 10 pm; Sunday, May 15 at 2 and 7 pm; Tuesday, May 17 at 7 pm; Thursday, May 19 at 7 pm; Saturday, May 21 at 10 pm; and Sunday, May 22 at 2 and 7 pm.
J-CAT is located on the Sanford L. Ziff Campus of the Michael Ann Russell JCC, 18900 NE 25th Avenue, North Miami Beach, FL 33180. Tickets are $20 adults, $12 seniors/students and may be purchased online at www.jcctheatre.com or by phone, 1-866-811-4111.
This production is presented through the Rabbi Norman Mussman Cultural Arts Department and is in part, made possible through the support of Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners.
# # #
The Michael-Ann Russell JCC is dedicated to the enrichment of Jewish life, representing a model of acceptance, understanding and diversity. The MAR-JCC is a beneficiary agency of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation, and United Way of Miami-Dade.