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Upper School Students Perform Eye-Opening Fall Play

Rudy Brandl

The Wardlaw+Hartridge Performing Arts Department celebrated its return to the stage with a fabulous fall play production of These Shining Lives. The show enjoyed an impressive two-day run with in-person performances on Nov. 12-13 in the Berry Performing Arts Center. The play is based on the true story of four women who worked for the Radium Dial Company, a watch factory based in Ottawa, Illinois. It dramatizes the danger women faced in this workplace and highlights the wider lack of concern companies had for protecting the health of their employees.

The four women were remarkably portrayed by Rose Kassam ‘22 as Catherine Donohue, Naischa Puri ‘23 as Charlotte Purcell, Krishna Patel ’22 as Frances O’Connell and Giselle Lee ’23 and Pearl Payne. The other cast members were Jack Silver ’23, Charlie Silver ’24, David Flatau-Jones ’23, Carter Huang ’22, Timothy Oligino ’24, Sasha Chernyak ’23, Aarya Patel ’25 and Kamila Franco ’25.

Students performed wearing masks before restricted audience sizes to maintain safety protocols, but the production was a successful and rewarding experience for the cast and crew.

“I honestly could not have asked for a better final play,” Rose Kassam said. “It was incredible being up on stage again after a hiatus due to Covid-19. Returning to the PAC with such a serious play as These Shining Lives felt risky, but ultimately paid off. It felt as if we had never left. As sad as I am that this was my last play as a part of the W+H Upper School Performing Arts Program, I am excited to see what the future holds for those still in the program. It's getting better and better each year, and I am excited to return as an audience member and a fan.”

Rose also expressed gratitude for the director-producer team of Becky Randazzo and Liz Howard, crediting them with creating such a successful performance and for giving her the opportunity to embody Catherine Wolfe Donohue.

“This play will forever hold a close place in my heart,” Rose said.