Huntington University Theatre Company Presents ‘These Shining Lives’

True stories are often more heartbreaking than fiction. The Huntington University Theatre Company presents These Shining Lives, a play written by Melanie Marnich and based on the true story of four women who worked for the Radium Dial Company, a watch factory based in Ottawa, Illinois.

The play, which was called “Perfect, touching and wistful…beautifully tragic” by Talkin’ Broadway, chronicles the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day, exploring their true story and its continued resonance. Catherine and her friends are dying, it’s true; but theirs is a story of survival in its most transcendent sense, as they refuse to allow the company that stole their health to kill their spirits — or endanger the lives of those who come after them.

Director Ryan Long said she’s excited about how the cast and crew have come together to create an ensemble piece where each person contributes to make the whole production shine.

“It’s amazing how these cast members have latched on to each of their characters and really made them their own,” said Long. “In other productions I’ve worked on, it’s taken months to create this type of synergy. This cast has been in rehearsals less than a month and they’ve already got incredible insight and connectivity.”

“I think people should come see this play because it is an all-around well-written story and a beautiful, tragic picture of how our actions matter and can make a difference for good or bad,” said cast member Elisa Hobbs.

Public performances will be on Thursday, February 15 at 7:30 p.m., Friday, February 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, February 17 at 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. An educational matinee for middle/high school students, including homeschool students, will be held on Thursday, February 15 at 9:30 a.m. Tickets for all public performances may be purchased online at, by phone at (260) 359-4261, or at the Huntington University Box Office beginning one hour prior to show time. Please contact the Box Office regarding ticketing for the educational matinee.

Performances are in the Studio Theatre inside the Merillat Centre for the Arts on the campus of Huntington University; seating opens 30 minutes prior to show time. For more information, visit

These Shining Lives is the second production of the Huntington University Theatre Company’s 2023-2024 season. For more information, visit, email, or call the Huntington University Box Office at (260) 359-4261. Follow the Huntington University Theatre Company on Facebook to keep up with the latest program news and events.