Seating Policy Seats are guaranteed only until curtain time. As we are a theater in the round, latecomers may have to wait to be seated until an appropriate break in the performance. Colonial Players reserves the right to not seat latecomers if an appropriate time is not available to do so. Latecomer seating is at the discretion of the stage manager. A television monitor in the lobby allows late patrons to view the performance. Please allow plenty of time for parking in the crowded downtown area.
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These Shining Lives
This poetic play tells the true story of four young women who began working in the Westclox Radium Dial Company in Ottawa, Illinois near Chicago in 1922, at the time when women had just won the right to vote and the license to smoke and to work outside the home almost without scandal. The company employed over 1000 women for 11 years to paint the numbers in the radium powder on the faces of their clocks and watches. Catherine Donohue and her co-workers develop deep, supportive friendships as the years go on. Finally they must confront two truths that both they and the company have been evading for years. They are developing serious illnesses and their work with radium is the cause. The decisions that the four women, particularly Catherine, make in response to these facts ultimately resulted in a 1938 landmark Supremem Court case that changed Illinois law to make companies responsible for the safety of their workers. Melanie Marnich's play illuminates the lives and spirits of these ordinary women, shedding light that flares into incandescence as their story ends.
Dead Man's Cell Phone
Our second ARC offering is an odd comedy about human isolation, especially in this world full of more tightly connective devices than ever before. Jean, a young woman eating a bowl of lobster bisque in a cafe, picks up the ringing cell phone of a man who has just died at the next table. Stunned by the happening, she allows herself to be drawn into the lives of his family and others who call him while hte phone is in her possession, seeking to make them feel better and to express the unspoken thoughts of the dead man. Not quite absurdist, unsentimental and quirky, the play takes us into a swirling exploration of our inability to really know others, even those we work near, live with, or marry.