George Fox University presents play ‘These Shining Lives’ as its spring drama

March 23rd, 2015

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Shows scheduled April 9-12 and April 16-19 in Wood-Mar Auditorium

Shining-Lives-ArtNEWBERG, Ore. – The production These Shining Lives, a poetic tale about the lives of four women who refused to allow a company more concerned with profit than safety to silence their voices, will take the George Fox University stage in April.

Directed by Professor of Theatre Rhett Luedtke, the play will be presented over two weekends, on April 9-12 and April 16-19, in the university’s Wood-Mar Auditorium. All shows begin at 7:30 p.m. with the exception of the two Sunday performances, scheduled as 2 p.m. matinees.

Tickets – $12 for general admission, $8 for seniors and George Fox alumni, and $6 for students and children under 12 – can be purchased online at

Inspired by actual people and real events, Melanie Marnich’s These Shining Lives chronicles the lives of four women who worked for the Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, Ill., in the 1920s and ’30s. Catherine, Charlotte, Frances and Pearl are lucky enough to land jobs that pay them close to $2,500 a year (within the top 5 percent of women workers’ compensation at the time). What they don’t know is the fact the paint they’re using to paint glowing numbers on watch faces is radioactive.

As Catherine and her friends begin to suffer debilitating illnesses, Catherine has the courage to stand up and fight for the rights of her coworkers. Her courage changed Illinois law so that companies could finally be held responsible for the health of their workers.

Luedtke invites the audience to “remember our collective past, reflect on the present and dream of a better future.”
“As we celebrate Catherine’s life by listening to her story, I pray that we are emboldened to live ‘shining lives’ like Catherine and her coworkers,” he added.

The cast includes Olivia Anderson, a senior theatre major from Newberg, Ore., (“Catherine”); Bobi Whitehead, a junior Christian ministries and theatre major from Tigard, Ore., who will share the role of “Charlotte” with Katie Wight, a junior theatre major from Camas, Wash.; Michaela Conley, a sophomore double major in theatre and music from Redmond, Ore., who will share the role of “Frances” with Nicole Greene, a senior theatre major from Santa Clara, Calif.; Tina Anderson, a junior social work major from Hillsboro, Ore., who will share the role of “Pearl” with Emily Lund, a junior English major from Olympia, Wash.; Joseph Hampton, a junior English major from Newberg, Ore., (“Tom”); Zach Maurer, a junior theatre major from Newberg, Ore., (“Mr. Reed,” and Dr. D”); and Courtland Sherreit, a junior psychology and cinema and media communication double major (“Dr. R.”, “Comp Dr.”, “Gross” and “Son”).

The George Fox University theatre department has been recognized by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C. with awards for individual acting, set design, and overall production.

George Fox University
is ranked by Forbes among the top Christian universities in the country and is a Christian college classified by U.S. News & World Report as a first-tier regional university. More than 3,700 students attend classes on the university’s campus in Newberg, Ore., and at teaching centers in Portland, Salem and Redmond, Ore. George Fox offers bachelor’s degrees in more than 40 majors, degree-completion programs for working adults, six seminary degrees, and 11 master’s and doctoral degrees.


Rhett Luedtke
Professor of Theatre, George Fox University

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