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These Shining Lives

by Melanie Marnich

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

​Directed by Rachelle Randle


Auditions July 10, 2023

6:30pm Monday. Callbacks Tuesday, July 11.

Ives Studio Theater at the Reif

Performances September 15-24, 2023

7pm Friday, Saturday. 2pm Sunday Matinee

Ives Studio Theater at the Reif

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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.” —


2 men, 4 women

(the cast might be expanded and the doubling of roles reduced)

CATHERINE DONOHUE - Plays only herself

FRANCES - Also plays Reporter 2, an Official

CHARLOTTE - Also plays Reporter 1

PEARL - Also plays Daughter, Judge 2

TOM DONOHUE, her husband - Also plays Dr. Rowntree, Dr. Dalitsch

MR. REED - Also plays Radio Announcer, Company Doctor, Son, Judge, Leonard Grossman.

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