Margarine: The Musical

Margarine! The Musical: An Agrarian Melodrama

Tuesday, April 5 – 7:00 p.m.- Petersham Town Hall
Free, all welcome – Refreshments to follow

The Petersham Grange will present an original production, Margarine! The Musical: An Agrarian Melodrama on Tuesday, April 5, at 7:00 p.m. at Petersham Town Hall. The performance is free and all are welcome. The musical skit was conceived and written by Ellen Anderson, Petersham Grange No. 95 Lecturer, who has been researching the history of the Grange and the importance of music within the Grange.

Ellen Anderson is looking for local singers to perform. The musical is sponsored by the Petersham Grange but you do not have to be a Grange member to participate. There will be a few rehearsals. Anyone interested in participating should call Ellen at (978) 724-3537.

The play is set in 1911, just as American agriculture was beginning to change and foods began to be made in factories. Family farmers were especially threatened by the advent of margarine as an alternative to pure dairy butter. The politics of food plays out against a background of conflict over money and increased urbanization. In 1911 the National Grange took positions on all of these topics.

Drama, humor, music, singing, and more fill out this production. Most of the lead roles will be filled by Petersham Grange members with many others in the community lending their talents particularly for the music portions. Roles in the production include the Grange’s Three Graces, Adam and Eve, the serpent, the god Pluto, and farm family members, among others. The song selection includes, Stay on the Farm, The Hand That Holds the Bread, Do Not Mortgage the Farm, The Farmer is The Man,and When a Hundred Years Have Rolled.

Petersham Grange No. 95 was organized in April 1875. The current Petersham Grange membership includes many who have earned 25 and 50 year recognition and including one 80 year member who will have a role in the musical. Founded in 1867 after the Civil War, the Grange is a family, community organization with its roots in agriculture. The Grange, the oldest American agricultural advocacy group, was formed as a national organization with a local focus.

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