Supporting the Arts in Western Massachusetts and Beyond

October 13, 2023

Preview: Mason Square Branch Library, "Frances Perkins: A Woman's Work"

Mason Square Branch Library, Springfield, MA
Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Photo Credit:
She was dubbed “The Mother of Social Security” -- quite a title! This was Frances Perkins.

A relatively famous photo taken in the late 1930’s was that of President FDR at his desk waving a pen above his head as he signed the Social Security Act into law. A woman in the background, wearing a drab dress, black hat, pearls, and no smile was Frances Perkins, the first female cabinet member in the U.S. as Secretary of Labor for 12 years, the creator of Social Security, and MA resident in her early adulthood.

On Wednesday, October 25, 2023 at 12:30pm actress Jarice Hanson will present the play “Frances Perkins: A Woman’s Work” at the Mason Square Branch Library, 765 State Street, Springfield, MA. 

Through a grant from the Springfield Cultural Council, an agency of the MA Cultural Council, this play was commissioned to be written and performed only in Springfield to recognize the important work of Perkins and what she created in the early 40’s that affects the US today. 

This is the second of three performances in different sections of the City. The initial location was the Springfield Armory NHS to standing room only audience. This show in Mason Square is the second, with the final production at Indian Orchard Citizens Council on Tuesday, November 14th at 7:00pm.

Perkins tackled social reform on many important topics, i.e. African-American workers, child labor laws, the 40-hour work week, women’s working conditions, and labor unions. This is not a lecture, but a one-act original play. The public is invited to be the audience, free of charge.

In the Spotlight, an arts organization in Springfield, is the producer of the play which will be immediately followed by Q&A to the actress remaining in character as Frances Perkins.

The site is wheelchair accessible, free parking at the rear of the library and on street, no tickets or reserved seating. 

For information: contact Mason Square Library at 413-263-6853 or check the Central Library website at