The team won the regional competition last week. Under the direction of Jan Thompson and choreography by Elaine Sheldon, students will compete at the VHSL theatre state championship in Charlottesville on Dec. 14. This is the 14th consecutive year Thompson has led her team to the state championship performances.
Central’s one act play for this year’s competition is “These Shining Lives” by Melanie Marnich. It is based on the true story of four women who worked in a watch factory in Ottawa, Illinois, dramatizing the danger women faced in the workplace in the 1920s.
The play is based on the historically documented fact that employees of the watch factory painted markings onto watch dials using a glow-in-the-dark radium compound. The company told employees there was no evidence that radium was harmful and even suggested it had health benefits.
In the play, each of the characters develops ailments which are finally diagnosed as radium poisoning, leading to their decision to file suit against the company. “These Shining Live”' chronicles the strength and determination of women considered expendable in their day and explores their true story and its continued resonance.
Central’s one act team includes Caylon Cox, Charlie Reeves-Thacker, Doug Harrison, Draak Sutphin, Dylan Reeves-Thacker, Emily Mullins, Emma Chandler, Emma Snodgrass, Emma Stallard, Gracie Hall, Hailey Polly, Haley Ricketts, Izah Qureshi, Jordan Harrison, Maggie Henry, Maria Boggs, Nicole Aquirre, Reagan Dotson, Ryan Collins, Sagan Holbrook, Sam Basham, Stephanie Whitfield, Sydney Phillips, Zack Jackson, A.J. Bolling, Ashlyn Mullins, Kayleigh McNew, Madi Fields, Mary Stuedemann and Taylor Sanders.
Prior to the state competition in Charlottesville, the students will perform “These Shining Lives” at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 30 at the high school. Admission is free and open to the public. Donations will be accepted at the door to help with state competition travel costs.