“Advertising. That’s the wave of the future.
It’s not just the product – it’s the way you promote it.”

A play for family audiences. Suitable for educational theater and youth theater, it is also a popular choice among community theatres and small professional theaters. Available from Dramatic Publishing.

Based on the true story of the dial painters who made labor history.

The story: 1926. Radium is a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches the latest rage. Until the girls who paint those watch dials begin to die. Based on the true story of the women and men who worked for the U.S. Radium Corporation in Orange, N.J., and originally written for nine actors to double into 38 roles. Radium Girls is a fast-paced stage play. A wry examination of the commercialization of science and the twin American obsessions with the pursuit of health and wealth makes this original drama from DW Gregory a continually relevant and entertaining choice for production.

  • Finalist, Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference
  • Finalist, New Harmony Project
  • National Endowment for the Arts Production Grant
  • Best New Play of 1999 – 2000, Newark Star-Ledger
  • Ensemble Studio Theatre/Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project Grant, 2001
  • Winner, Best Production, The Burlington Players, AACTFEST 2013

“A compelling new drama…the playwright lays out the facts with historical accuracy, descriptive simplicity and graphic candor. ” – VARIETY

“The best new play in New Jersey professional theatre.” – THE NEWARK STAR LEDGER

“…a genuine theatrical gift.” – CHICAGO STAGE REVIEW

“Radium Girls may speak to our collective capacity for denial. But it also celebrates our individual courage.” – THE DAILY RECORD, MORRISTOWN, N.J.

“… a playwright with a talent to enlighten and provoke.” – THE NEW YORK TIMES


A UIL-approved drama stage play for high school theater competitions, Radium Girls is also suitable for professional theater and community theater companies. The large cast play features many strong roles for females, making it a popular choice among school theater programs. Written for nine to 10 actors to double into 38 parts, this drama can be performed by smaller casts in competition, doubling parts among four to five males and five females. Suitable for general audiences, this highly acclaimed original play examines the constant push-and-pull of American capitalism against perennial questions of responsibility to one’s community and one’s conscience. Radium Girls draws from a stunning chapter in U.S. labor history and the history of science and ties well into multiple aspects of the middle school and high school curriculum. Among community theaters, it has been a popular choice for production during Women’s History Month.

Run Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes with an intermission


9 actors or 10 actors

With 9 Actors:
1. Grace
2. Kathryn – Board Member #1 / Shop Girl / Society Woman / Harriet
3. Irene – Miss Wiley / Board Member #2 / Photographer / Mrs. Michaels
4. Sob Sister- Clerk / Elderly Widow / Mrs. Fryer / Mac Neil
5. Mrs. Roeder – Madam Curie / Customer / Board Member #3
6. Lee – Drinker / Bailey / Flinn / Male
7. Tom – Reporter / Berry / Knef
8. Markley – Von Sochocky / Store Owner / Venecine Salesman / Martland
9. Roeder

With 10 Actors:
1. Grace
2. Kathryn – Society Woman / Harriet / Shop Girl / Board Member #1
3. Irene – Miss Wiley / Board Member #2 / Mrs. Michaels
4. Sob Sister – MacNeil / Clerk / Mrs. Fryer
5. Mrs. Roeder – Madam Curie / Customer / Board Member #3
6. Lee – Drinker / Bailey / Lovesick Cowboy / Male
7. Berry – Martland / Flinn / Store Owner
8. Tom – Reporter / Knef / Venecine Salesman
9. Markley – Von Sochocky / Elderly Widow / Photographer
10. Roeder

Radium Girls was originally produced at Playwrights’ Theatre of New Jersey, directed by Joseph Megel and produced by John Pietrowski, producing director.

Since then Radium Girls has received more than 1,800 productions throughout the United States and abroad, including Australia, Canada, Great Britain, India, Ireland, Germany, and New Zealand.