Musical Highlights Lowell's 19th-Century 'Factory Girls'

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Members of the cast of 'Factory Girls' (Courtesy Boston Conservatory)
Members of the cast of 'Factory Girls' (Courtesy Boston Conservatory)

Who ever thought a rock musical and the history of Lowell's 19th-century mill factory girls could meet in the same rehearsal room?

"Factory Girls," a new musical by Creighton Irons and Sean Mahoney, meshes the new with the historic, telling the story of Sarah Bagley and Harriet Farley, factory operatives and best friends living in 1844 Lowell.

The musical delves into the lives of the women but also explores their writings, including a company-sponsored newspaper called "The Lowell Offering." It's full name was: "The Lowell Offering: A Repository of Original Articles on Various Subjects Written by Factory Operatives: Price 6 and a quarter cents."

Published from 1840 to 1845, it was a literary magazine full of poetry, politics and essays on the lives of women in the mills. It became a national phenomenon.

We visit a rehearsal and speak with members of the cast and director and Lowell native Neil Donahoe.


This segment aired on June 3, 2011.


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