‘Radium Girls’ set to open


By Glenn Battishill - [email protected]



Buckeye Valley High School actor Audrey Schmaltz (playing Grace Fryer) comforts Eliza Finley (playing Irene Rudolph) after she starts bleeding from her mouth while working with radium during a rehearsal for the school’s production of “Radium Girls” Wednesday evening.

Buckeye Valley High School actor Audrey Schmaltz (playing Grace Fryer) comforts Eliza Finley (playing Irene Rudolph) after she starts bleeding from her mouth while working with radium during a rehearsal for the school’s production of “Radium Girls” Wednesday evening.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Buckeye Valley students Sarah Church, Cord Lehman, and Lilly Hogan rehearse a scene in “Radium Girls” when the company discovers a number of their employees are suffering from a mysterious illness.


Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

The Buckeye Valley High School production of “Radium Girls” opens today after weeks of preparation from the cast and crew.

The students at Buckeye Valley will perform the show, which follows a group of women suffering deadly side effects from working with radium in the 1920s, three times this weekend: Friday at 7 p.m., Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are available at https://buckeyevalleyathletics.com/event-tickets and must be purchased online.

Director Hannah Fuller said the show is significantly more dramatic than many of the comedy shows the school has done in the past, adding she wanted to give the actors a chance to do dramatic acting. While the show shares a name with a film, Fuller said the two stories are different.

Having watched dress rehearsal, Fuller said she’s excited to watch the students perform this weekend.

“With any show comes a degree of nervousness,” Fuller said. “My confidence in my cast and my crew outweighs any nervousness I feel. The acting part has stopped evolving. They’ve made their acting choices, now we have all the technical cogs coming together to make one show. That’s where our focus has been the past week.”

Junior Emrich Buck said she’s slightly nervous about the show but is excited to be part of the dramatic production.

“Every performance is nerve-wracking,” Buck said. “It’s been fun to play with different ways of expression when acting … to figure out how to act with emotions that aren’t just funny or happy.”

Freshman actor Ayden Brown said the show has made him want to act again at the school, and he’s looking forward to the very dramatic parts of the show.

“I enjoy the (dramatic reveal),” Brown said. “It’s amazing how the story builds up. (Acting) is something I’m going to do again.”

Julia Beachnau, a sophomore, said her favorite part of the show is the crying scene she gets to do, adding she’s enjoyed the structure of the show’s cast.

“It’s been really emotional,” Beachnau said. “A lot more deeply emotional than the other shows we’ve done. It’s a truer sad feeling. (I like that the show) is not as fancy as a show like ‘Annie.’ It’s not like there’s one big character … everyone has a strong part.”

Senior Quinn Clinger, a crew member for the production, said she was nervous going into dress rehearsal week but said her nerves have calmed.

“I was nervous at first because there’s a lot of new crew members,” Clinger said. “Before we got here yesterday and started doing stuff I was really worried about how it’s going to turn out, but once it started to gel together, everyone picked it up really quickly, which I’m happy about. I’m not nervous anymore. We’ve got it down to a science.”

Clinger said she’s enjoyed being part of the theater community at Buckeye Valley and is sad that one of her final shows at the school is over.

“The people and the atmosphere makes it a lot of fun,” she said. “This school is like a second home and theater is a second family. It feels good to be able to close on a program like this. My freshman year, I wasn’t in theater. I regret not getting into it sooner.”

Clinger said she plans to study biochemistry in college but would consider doing theater as well.

Fuller said she hopes the students have enjoyed the production.

“When I remember my own time in theater in high school, I want to make their experiences memorable and positive here in our department,” Fuller said. “I want to make sure it’s good for them.”

Fuller said she has selected the spring show, which won’t be as dramatic as “Radium Girls.”

“I’d like to reassure the good people of Delaware that it’s uplifting, positive and fun,” she said.

Buckeye Valley High School actor Audrey Schmaltz (playing Grace Fryer) comforts Eliza Finley (playing Irene Rudolph) after she starts bleeding from her mouth while working with radium during a rehearsal for the school’s production of “Radium Girls” Wednesday evening.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/11/web1_DSC_0513.jpgBuckeye Valley High School actor Audrey Schmaltz (playing Grace Fryer) comforts Eliza Finley (playing Irene Rudolph) after she starts bleeding from her mouth while working with radium during a rehearsal for the school’s production of “Radium Girls” Wednesday evening. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

Buckeye Valley students Sarah Church, Cord Lehman, and Lilly Hogan rehearse a scene in “Radium Girls” when the company discovers a number of their employees are suffering from a mysterious illness.
https://www.delgazette.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/40/2022/11/web1_DSC_0521.jpgBuckeye Valley students Sarah Church, Cord Lehman, and Lilly Hogan rehearse a scene in “Radium Girls” when the company discovers a number of their employees are suffering from a mysterious illness. Glenn Battishill | The Gazette

By Glenn Battishill

[email protected]

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

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