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Harrison High School Gears Up for 'Radium Girls'

HARRISON, N.Y. - They've been rehearsing up to four times a week since September, but Harrison High School senior Jacqueline Ledesma still paced the school's Performing Arts Center combing over her lines to prepare for opening night.

"I don't get too nervous," Ledesma said. "I like to put myself out there."

Ledesma and close to 25 other HHS students gathered Thursday for one of their final rehearsals before curtains roll for " Radium Girls, " which debuts Friday.

"I'm excited that we can pull something so different than any other show," said Ledesma, who will be playing Macneil, the clerk and Raymond Barry. "It's definitely been exciting to work on this for the past few months."

Directed by Theatre Arts and English Teacher Nina Mansfield , "Radium Girls" tells the story of women who were hired by the U.S. Radium Corporation in New Jersey between 1917 and 1926 to paint watch dials with glow-in-the dark radium paint, giving them sometimes fatal illnesses.

Mansfield picked the dramatic production and said the cast was up to the challenge.

"I think the cast is really great," Mansfield said. "It's an extremely talented and strong cast and we're where we should be."

In the final week of rehearsal, Mansfield sat four rows back in the Performing Arts Center as the cast made its way through the show with very few bumps, save for an occasional forgotten line or a "smoother next time" command over the speakers.

The show will be sophomore Emma Camillone's first with the Playhouse, who will be playing Ms. Wiley. She said she learned a lot from watching Ledesma, an old friend of hers.

"Jackie is a great actress who's been easy to work with," Camillone said. "The show's been going very well. I'm a little nervous but I have faith in the cast."

"Radium Girls" is scheduled at the Harrison Performing Arts Center at Harrison High School on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Sunday's performance will be followed by a 15-minute discussion session with the cast and crew.

Tickets will be available at the door at $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors. No reservations are necessary.

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