Cultural Council grant funds for library’s virtual screening of “We Did It For You!”

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Richards Memorial Library

After years of staged performances and a year of livestreamed performances, the producers of “We Did It For You! Women’s Journey Through History” have created a film version. “We Did It For You!” is a musical that tells of the struggles and triumphs women have undergone to get their basic rights in America. A high school student has a history project to figure out who has done the most for women of today, and she learns the answer from the women who were there.

It is the ideal history lesson disguised as entertainment. The typical response after any performance of the show has been “I didn’t know all that.” Many girls respond by saying, “I didn’t know learning could be so fun.”

Playwright Thea Iberall talked about the difficulty the suffragists had. “Getting the vote wasn’t a snap of the fingers,” said Iberall. “Women worked hard for 72 years for it.”

When asked why she wrote the script, Iberall answered, “They did this for us. Isn’t it our responsibility to carry on their work for future generations?”

To create the film, the actors went into the Medfield TV studios and recreated the iconic roles. The challenges were daunting, dealing with a large cast, schedules, illness, and the pandemic. Nevertheless, they persisted and even found ways to add new material and special surprises.

As a production, “We Did It For You!” has been performed across California and Massachusetts for thousands of high school students, college students, and adults. Maryann Ziemba, a social studies teacher, said, “The play is an instructional gem.” After the workshop version was done in her ninth-grade classroom, Ziemba joined the cast as her hero Susan B. Anthony.

Paul Williams, the Oscar-winning songwriter said, “Playwright Thea Iberall offers a multi-century parade of feminine genius and courage, and does it with humor and fun. Your daughters must see this but, the men in your family will enjoy it too.”

The screening will be held on Jan. 19 at 7 p.m. Through a grant from the North Attleborough Local Cultural Council, this screening is free. For more information, go to www.wediditforyou.org and click on the link under Richards Memorial Library. 

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