These Shining Lives depicts a remembrance not only to social and moral struggles of the past, but issues that continue on into modern day. The play, written by Melanie Marnich, reveals the dramatic scandals and societal shifts following the newly victorious USA after World War I. The 1920’s were a time of change, especially for women. First they gained their right to vote, followed by the acceptance of them smoking, drinking, dancing and eventually even working outside the home. Catherine Donohue is no social extremist. All she wanted was to help out her loving husband with the bills, and as a bonus feel some small sense of control of her own life.
The play quickly takes on a feminist story line, but refrains from displaying common stereotypes of feminists themselves. Though Catherine and all of her fellow co-workers clearly thrive in their newfound individuality, they do not discourage traditional female roles. Catherine continues to be the mother and wife she always was.
The social commentary does not end with feminism, but continues on to challenge the corporate corruption of the time period. Workers, men and women, are constantly abused and lied to for something as simple as capitalist gains for more riches and luxury. The play is a classic display of human selfishness.
After being hired to paint radium onto watch faces, Catherine and her new friends begin to shimmer and shine from their empowered positions, but gradually the reality sets in. No longer shinning but literally glowing, these four girls, played by Katelynn Teel, Brook Vaughn, Brooklyn McGinty, and Melanie Hedley, discover the very radium once said to have medicinal properties has poisoned them. Suddenly they are left with nothing but time: cruel, ambivalent time. These women’s slow decay is painful to watch, but they remain forever strong on the inside, until the very end.
Gunner Mann plays the women’s boss as Bryan Salinas portrays Catherine’s loving husband. Reporters are played by DeAnna Grady and Jacob Cohn, and cast as the children are Brittany Bush and Trevor Tinney.
Seniors Thomas Fowler and Jonathon Patino will once again be in charge of the lights and sound, respectively while Gracie Madrigal will be in charge of hair styles. Remy Wood and Chris Munoz complete the crew for the One Act Play. Ashyln Grady and Bralei Lewis serve as alternates.