The Broadsheet Daily: “Pace Spins A Yarn about ‘Factory Girls’ – Fact-Based Rock Musical Recalls Labor Pains of 1840s”

At the dawn of America’s Industrial Revolution, young women known as “Mill Girls” flocked to Lowell, MA, from farms throughout New England, hoping to make a better life for themselves. What they found instead were 14-hour workdays, packed dormitories, and puritanical overseers who monitored their behavior around the clock.

“Factory Girls” will be performed Jan 26-30, 2011 at Pace’s Schaeberle Studio (41 Park Row; tenth floor) Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 pm, with weekend matinees on Saturday (2:00 pm) and Sunday (3:00 pm). Tickets: $12 for adults and $8 for students. To make reservations, e-mail

Pace University is staging a dramatic reading and sing-through this weekend of a new rock musical, “Factory Girls,” that recalls the history-making activism of young working women in the 1840s, who brought some of America’s first labor reforms to the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts… The result is dialog and song that are powerfully evocative of many of the same conflicts that still divide America today: social justice, financial inequality, and double-edged sword by which individuals working for a giant, impersonal corporation can feel both empowered and imprisoned. – “Pace University Presents FACTORY GIRLS Musical, 1/26-1/30”

Taking place in the 1840s, “Factory Girls” tells the story of Yankee farm girls who come to Lowell, Massachusetts, “the City of Spindles,” in order make a better life for themselves.

After laboring for up to 14 hours a day, the girls write and publish their own company-sponsored publication, “The Lowell Offering,” which becomes a worldwide literary phenomenon. When working conditions deteriorate due to competitor and economic hardship, the women speak out against the corporation. Through their hardship, the course of both workers and women is forever altered: both have found a voice in America.

At the dawn of the American Industrial Revolution, girls working in the textile mills of Lowell, Massachusetts, become America’s first independent working women.

Inspired by the revolutionary spirit of her forefathers, a weaver secretly rallies her co-workers to speak up against the frightful working conditions, fight for labor reform and petition for a 10-hour workday.

The new musical Factory Girls will be presented as a part of Pace University’s New Musicals Program beginning January 26th through the 30th.