Theater student will direct upcoming production

January 23, 2024 (Volume 47, Number 11)
Article by Samantha Drougel

with green tones, a theater scene of three actors

'Radium Girls' will run January 24-26 as part of the Performance Studio Series at the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre, Haas Center for Performing Arts.

Photo Credit: Hannah Cooke

Hannah Cooke, a junior theater major, will make her collegiate directorial debut with “Radium Girls” at the Linn Maxwell Keller Black Box Theatre. 

“Radium Girls” is a part of the Performance Studio Series, productions that are directed, designed, produced and performed by students. Another production, "Tracks," will be performed on the same nights.

Both Performance Studio Series are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. January 24-26. Tickets can be purchased through the Department of Music, Theatre, and Dance website.

"Radium Girls" follows Grace, a woman working in a New Jersey factory during the 1920s. This politically charged war story reveals labor issues during the time. Cooke said she took a modern approach to the classic story.

“In my version, I am looking through the lens of big corporations and focusing on them as the center of these problems,” said Cooke. “I want you to look at the main businessman, Arthur Roeder, and identify the patterns we see in our society.”

This is Cooke’s first time directing a play at Grand Valley but she said she has loved directing since high school. In fact, she was an assistant director of her high school's production of "Radium Girls." 

One of her biggest challenges for this production was casting.

Cooke said, “One of the biggest challenges for me was that almost everyone played 3-5 different characters."

Although that was difficult Cooke credited the play's success to the collaborative effort from everyone involved. She explained the importance of giving creative freedom to her cast.

“I can give them any sort of blocking I want but if it doesn’t make sense or feel right to them, then it won’t translate as well,” Cooke said.



Across Campus

This article was last edited on January 23, 2024 at 9:16 a.m.

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