Our Turn

In June 2008, the fifth grade presented a new musical play, Our Turn, written by Beatrice Terry and directed by JanLee Marshall. The play traced the little known history of the women’s suffrage movement and the struggle to secure the rights of liberty and equality for more and more people. This is the story of a group of remarkable women of great courage who organized a small public meeting in 1848 in upper New York State to discuss the social, civic, and religious condition and rights of women.

The Seneca Falls Conference, as it is now known, has been called the first public gathering of its kind in the history of Western civilization. It was attended by more than 200 women and about 40 men. Meeting for two days, they produced a “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions,” modeled on the Declaration of Independence. Their primary inspiration came from the convergence of broad social forces in the 1840s: the growing anti-slavery movement, the ideals of the Transcendentalist writers such as Emerson, and the social activism of religious groups like the Quakers. In addition, the notion of gender equality had been seeded on the very ground where the conference was held, by generations of Iroquois over a span of centuries. All these forces converged in America to allow the breaking of cultural molds that had been solidly entrenched throughout the world for thousands of years.

The play is available on DVD through the Meher Schools.

Click here to see pictures from the fifth grade play in 2007
"Noah's Ark"

Photo montage