Live Theatre – These Shining Lives – MVLCT


banner graphic for these shining lives performance

The Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre is presenting These Shining Lives in the Uptown Theatre.  Shows are March 6th, 7th, 13th and 14th @ 7:30 pm with a matinee March 8th @ 2 pm.

This isn’t a fairy tale, though it starts like one. It’s not a tragedy, though it ends like one.

Catherine Donohue’s opening line to the audience in These Shining Lives sets the tone for a play that is hard to categorize.

Based on the true story, it shows us the lives of the “radium girls” who painted dials with glowing radium-infused paint to create watches that could be read in the dark.

Catherine Donohue and her coworkers at Radium Dial in Ottawa, Illinois, were among the many women who worked in conditions that exposed them to a radioactive chemical that made them ill. Their fight for workers’ compensation even as they were suffering the crippling effects of the radium inspired a nation of workers to demand safe conditions from their employers.

Their efforts are described in historic accounts as heroic, but they saw themselves as ordinary people. As Catherine says: “But we’re just girls who wanted to work.”

With its simple set, small cast and Melanie Marnich’s poetic script, this story is one you will remember.

The show runs a little over an hour with no intermission; talkbacks will be held after the Saturday and Sunday shows for those who wish to stay.

Get Tickets Online    You can also purchase tickets at the performance.

Included in the Shining Lives cast are:

  • Kim Benesh
  • Schuyler Bieber
  • Larry Hansen
  • Kellyn Howell
  • Craig Jarvie
  • Mary Morgan-Blacharski
  • Kim Novotny
  • Braden JP Rood
  • Jennifer Smith
  • Lisa Smith
  • Len Struttmann

Kami Zbanek Hill is directing.

For more info check out the MVLCT website

Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre Logo


MVLCT – Auditions for These Shining Lives


Poster image for the Shining Lives audtions

Auditions for Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre’s spring production of These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich will be held on Sunday, January 19 and Monday, January 20 at 7 PM in the Uptown Theatre.

Roles are available for a range of ages but actors need to be at least 18 years old. There are main roles for four women and two men; smaller roles may be filled by three women and two men. No preparation is necessary. Kami Zbanek Hill is directing.

Questions may be addressed to mvlcommunitytheatre@gmail.com.

These Shining Lives is a fictionalized account of the real life “Radium Girls” of the 1920s and ‘30s who painted watch faces with radioactive paint that glowed in the dark. The play centers around four women who work in the Radium Dial Company factory in Illinois and are exposed to toxic and deadly levels of radiation. Their story of bravery and determination to create better workplace conditions and safety regulations is an important but not widely known chapter in the social history of our country.

American playwright and television writer Melanie Marnich is best known for her work on HBO’s drama Big Love and the Showtime series The Big C.


  • Catherine Donohue (F) a worker at the factory
  • Charlotte (F) a worker at the factory
  • FRANCES (F) – a worker at the factory
  • PEARL (F) – a worker at the factory
  • Tom Donohue (M) — Catherine’s husband
  • MR. REED (M) – The overseer of the factory

Ensemble Roles

  • DR. ROWNTREE – He extols the benefits of radium to cure common illnesses
  • LEONARD GROSSMAN (M) – A brash lawyer
  • COMPANY DOCTOR – a pawn of the Radium Dial Company
  • RADIO ANNOUNCER –makes a performance out of selling radium to the public
  • DAUGHTER – Catherine’s daughter
  • SON – Catherine’s son
  • DR. DALITSCH – An incredibly honest doctor
  • JUDGE – Appears in the courtroom scene of Catherine’s trial versus the radium dial company
  • REPORTERS 1 & 2 – Speaks outside of the courthouse during Catherine’s lawsuit. They provide the opinion of the public

Drag Race to the Polls – Cornell College [alliance]


December 6 @ 6:30 pm in the Uptown Theatre

a rainbow with a star

Hosted by Cornell College’s [alliance]Drag Race to the Polls is a student run and performed drag extravaganza.  Please join us for a night of voter registration, drag, fundraising, and more!

Suggested donation of $5 for admission, all proceeds go to the Willis Dady Homeless Services.

The Iowa Caucus is right around the corner and we’re shaking things up. The evening will include voter registration, games, trivia, information about caucusing, speakers from Cornell and Willis Dady Homeless Services, drag king and queen performances, and more!

All are welcome, come drop it like it’s hot with [alliance], or sit in a chair and enjoy the show!

The show starts at 6:30 pm at the Uptown Theater.   Seating is general admission and the house opens at 6:00 pm.

About Cornell College [alliance]

Cornell College [alliance] is dedicated to education, service and activism within and in support of the LGBTQIA+ community.  We proudly provide support for the LGBTQIA+ community on campus and in neighboring communities.

Additionally, we provide education to the Cornell community at large through workshops, music performances, discussions, dances, documentaries and other events. We exist to advocate for and work within the demands of the community we serve.


The Hundred Dresses – Live Theatre by MVLCT


Author: Eleanor Estes

Playwright: Mary Hall Surface

Come and enjoy the fall children’s production of The Hundred Dresses, a play by Mary Hall Surface adapted from the classic 1943 children’s book by Eleanor Estes, directed by Braden JP Rood.  Wanda Petronski just wants to join the fun of having friends like everyone else. But in 1930’s small town America, a Polish immigrant doesn’t easily fit in.

Wanda struggles to fit in with the other girls in her grade and seeks comfort by creating drawings of beautiful dresses which she keeps at home and shows to no one.

When Maddie’s best friend Peggy starts to tease Wanda, Maddie knows it isn’t right. When the teasing doesn’t stop and the Petronski moves to get away from the town’s prejudices, Maddie is wracked with guilt. She soon realized that allowing her friend to be a bully can be just as bad as acting that way herself.

Determined not to let her fear get the best of her again, Maddie braves the scorn of her classmates and stands up to them, making an unlikely friend in the process.

Set in a small town during the Great Depression of the 1930s, the play is based on the classic 1943 award-winning children’s book by Eleanor Estes. Poverty, bullying, immigration, and the redemptive quality of art are the timeless themes explored in this story for all ages.

GREAT NEWS! We will have ASL interpreters at our final performance, October 13th!

Show Dates & Times

  • Friday, October 4th at 7 pm
  • Saturday, October 5th at 7 pm
  • Sunday, October 6th at 2 pm
  • Friday, October 11th at 7 pm
  • Saturday, October 12th at 7 pm
  • Sunday, October 13th at 2 pm


Seats vary from $10 – $15

The Hundred Dresses tickets are on sale at the door or on MVLCT’s web store – so you can pick yours up early!

Visit shop.mvlct.com to purchase your tickets online.

This is a Mount Vernon-Lisbon Community Theatre production