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These Shining Lives

by Melanie Marnich

presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.

Sponsored by:


Performances September 15-24, 2023

7pm Friday, Saturday. 2pm Sunday Matinee

Ives Studio Theater at the Reif

THESE SHINING LIVES is presented by special arrangement with Broadway Licensing, LLC, servicing the Dramatists Play Service collection. (

and supported through funding from the Minnesota State Arts Board.


Catherine Donohue - Sammi Benson

Tom Donohue - Nathan Bergstedt

Charlotte - Amy Koivisto

Pearl - Rachel Newman

Frances - Avrielle Schneider

Mr. Reed - Aaron Prudhomme

Leanord Grossman/Company Dr - Gordy Savela

Dr. Dalitsch - Mary Cagle

Reporter 2/Radio Announcer - Laurie Antonson

Reporter 1/Dr. Rowntree - Riley Wick

Judge - Zel Élysées

Daughter - Mavis Bujold

Son - Julia Beaty


Director: Rachelle Randle

Asst. Director: Nathan Bergstedt

Stage Manager: Marina Whight

Costumer: Amy Savela

Set Construction: Greg Tuttle, Gordy Savela

Technical Director: Melanie McCoy

Photographer: Jennifer Mariano

THE STORY: THESE SHINING LIVES 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.

“[Marnich] has an ear for warm, natural dialogue that eschews snarky quips and truisms…the play’s linguistic honesty satisfies.” —Time Out Chicago.


“…has a humanistic glow…clockwork precision…an initially comic and ultimately tragic look at how individual women find employment within a system more concerned with profit than safety.” —Variety.


“Perfect, touching and wistful…beautifully tragic.” —Talkin’ Broadway.


“…subtly stylized language and a sensibility that’s delicately oddball, even when probing troubling topics.” —Washington Post.


“The stakes could not be more vividly portrayed. [Catherine’s] courage shines brighter as her body weakens. Still, we leave the theater aching from the impact of this true tale, which only gains power from the artifice of its telling.” —

Meet the Director

Introducing Rachelle Randle, director for "These Shining Lives": Although you may recognize Rachelle from one of her many roles with the Players (including Ms. Scarlet in "Clue" and Laura in "Glass Menagerie"), you may not be aware of all the production work she has undertaken over the past twelve years. Ever aspiring to improve as a theatre professional, Rachelle has worked closely with John Schroeder as his assistant director for multiple productions for The Players and GR High School, including: “It Can’t Happen Here,” “Young Frankenstein,” “Bird Brains,” “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” and “Is He Dead?” Additionally, Rachelle has directed numerous of her own original, small-scale productions for InsomniActs, YouTube, and First Fridays. She was also selected to spearhead the production for the Flash Mob at Tall Timber Days in 2015, which she wrote, choreographed, and directed to help promote First Fridays. As someone who has had to advocate for her own health care, as well as a firm believer in female empowerment, Rachelle is extremely passionate about the GR Players' upcoming drama and hopes to see you in the audience!

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