Buckeye Valley rehearsing ‘Radium Girls’


By Glenn Battishill - [email protected]



Buckeye Valley High School Drama Club Director Hannah Fuller gives stage directions to Sarah Church, a senior, and Emrich Buck, a junior, Wednesday afternoon during a rehearsal for “Radium Girls,” which opens next month.

Buckeye Valley High School Drama Club Director Hannah Fuller gives stage directions to Sarah Church, a senior, and Emrich Buck, a junior, Wednesday afternoon during a rehearsal for “Radium Girls,” which opens next month.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Rehearsals are underway at Buckeye Valley High School for the upcoming dramatic production of “Radium Girls.”

The play opens next month but cast and crew have been busy for weeks rehearsing and preparing to perform the show, which centers around individuals in the 1920s who believed radium was a miracle cure, without understanding any of the dangers of radiation.

Director Hannah Fuller said the play is a dramatization of true events, and she added the show is darker and more dramatic than previous performances at Buckeye Valley.

“For the past few years BV has put on a lot of comedic shows and plays, and just like an athlete with muscles, the actors and actresses need to be able to stretch certain muscles in their acting,” Fuller said. “It’s a great story because it tells both sides, from the girls’ point of view as they are dying off and from the company and the men who were just as eager about this health sensation not believing it. We talked about how we can represent these stories and honor them through our performance.”

Fuller said she’s enjoyed seeing the students try more dramatic material and play more serious roles.

“It’s really enthralling to watch students that you’ve known to play one kind of part or to have this sort of presence on stage and help guide them towards a completely different performance,” Fuller said. “I’m a cheerleader for it. I’m really proud of them and what they’ve accomplished. It’s heavy stuff and difficult stuff.”

Fuller clarified that the play is not related to the Netflix show of the same name, and she added the play will be focused on student performances instead of technical production or sets.

“The show is minimalist,” Fuller said. “We’re trying to put an emphasis on the students and what they bring to the performance.”

Sophomore Eliza Finley, one of the main cast members of the show, said she’s enjoyed the change in tone.

“It’s really awesome,” Finley said. “It’s a big change from what BV has done in the past. This year there isn’t any humor. It’s definitely a challenge we needed, and it’s really interesting. It’s been really fun.”

Sophomore Audrey Schmaltz agreed, adding she’s enjoyed growing as a performer.

“It’s nice to have another level to it,” Schmaltz said. “Comedies are fun, but it’s nice to be able to show what you can do in dramas. Everyone is so great here, and it’s nice to be able to hang out. We’ve all put so much work into that. (I can’t wait to) see all that play out.”

Sophomore Cord Lehman, who plays one of the antagonists of the show, said he’s enjoying his role as a villain.

“(My character) is a negative character so that helps give me some range,” Lehman said. “I enjoyed that. It pushes me to actually act. I have to think the opposite of how I usually think.”

Leviathan Dawson, a sophomore, plays a serious role as well as several comedic bit parts in the show. He said the tonal shifts have been fun to play.

“It’s a little weird, everyone else is doing their lines and I’m like, ‘Hello!’” Dawson said in a comedic accent.

Student director Katie Mampe, a senior, said she’s enjoyed the experience of learning the show.

“I’ve always been interested in theater and technical theater,” Mampe said. “It’s been fun. I love the group I’m working with. It’s been a lot of fun, honestly. I’m seeing them expand and grow as actors and people. It’s so much fun.”

The show will be performed Nov. 4 and Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. and on Nov. 6 at 3 p.m. Tickets will go on sale later this month.

Buckeye Valley High School Drama Club Director Hannah Fuller gives stage directions to Sarah Church, a senior, and Emrich Buck, a junior, Wednesday afternoon during a rehearsal for “Radium Girls,” which opens next month.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/10/web1_DSC_0361.jpgBuckeye Valley High School Drama Club Director Hannah Fuller gives stage directions to Sarah Church, a senior, and Emrich Buck, a junior, Wednesday afternoon during a rehearsal for “Radium Girls,” which opens next month. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

[email protected]

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or Twitter @BattishillDG.

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or Twitter @BattishillDG.