Avila News

February 12, 2018

Avila Department of Theatre to Present "These Shining Lives"

show poster

(February 7, 2018) KANSAS CITY, MO – Avila University’s department of theatre will present the gripping drama “These Shining Lives” by playwright Melanie Marnich. The play runs February 22 – 25 on the Bill and Jean Buchanan Stage in Avila’s Goppert Theatre.

“These Shining Lives,” tells the illuminating story of four women who entered the American workforce in the early 20th-century painting watch dials using a toxic radium compound.

Later to be known as “radium girls,” the factory workers contracted radiation poisoning by using the self-luminous paint. Many of the women later began to suffer from anemia, bone fractures, and necrosis of the jaw, a condition now known as radium jaw. Several of the women suffered painful deaths.

“These Shining Lives” dramatizes the suffering, but also tells of the litigation that followed. The women challenged their employer in a case over the right of individual workers who contract occupational diseases. Even the inventor of the radium dial paint, Dr. Sabin Von Sochocky, became a victim of the poisoning. He offered to help the radium girls in court before he died in 1928.

The event holds an important place in the history of both the field of health and the labor rights movement. The case was settled in the autumn of 1928, and the settlement for each of the women was $10,000 (equivalent to $143,000 today).

Variety magazine raved in 2008 when “These Shining Lives” premiered at Center Stage in Baltimore. “…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." 

Goppert Theatre is located on the northeast corner of the Avila campus, 11901 Wornall Road, Kansas City, MO 64145. Tickets are available by emailing box.office@avila.edu or by calling 816.501.3699.

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The Arts at Avila: These Shining Lives

these shining lives
February 22-25
Evening performances: 7:30 p.m. 
Sunday matinee: 2:00 p.m.
Goppert Theatre on the Bill and Jean Buchanan Stage

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2018 Student Scholar Day

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Be a part of the 18th annual Avila Student Scholar Day on April 19! 

Student applications due on Feb. 23.

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AU News

Avila University is seeking comments from the public about the University in preparation for its periodic evaluation by its regional accrediting agency. The University will host a visit February 26-27, 2018 with a team representing the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). Avila University has been accredited by HLC since 1946. The team will review the institution’s ongoing ability to meet HLC’s Criteria for Accreditation.

The public is invited to submit comments regarding the University to the following address:

Public Comment on Avila University,
Higher Learning Commission,
230 South LaSalle Street, Suite 7-500
Chicago, IL 60604-1411

The public may also submit comments on HLC’s website at www.hlcommission.org/comment.

Comments must address substantive matters related to the quality of the institution or its academic programs. Comments must be in writing.

All comments must be received by January 19, 2018.