NEW BEDFORD — Sojourner Truth. Eleanor Roosevelt. Rosa Parks.

All great women whose legacy has shaped the women's movement in America. Their stories, and those of other inspiring women, will be told with humor and musical numbers in "We Did It For You! Women’s Journey Through History," playing Thursday at the Whaling Museum. The musical will be presented in partnership by the New Bedford Lyceum.

“These women ... have sacrificed much so that we can have our modern life,” said Thea Iberall, the musical’s producer. “We want to educate women and men to the enormous contributions women have made to our country. This play is not just a normal theatrical play, but a movement. We are on a mission to activate people by first opening their hearts and educating their minds.”

The musical tells the story of the evolution of women’s rights in America, as told by women who were there. The goal is to educate and to take action to bring about a balance in society by generating awareness about voter registration, women in leadership, gender equality and violence against women.

The musical has been performed since 2010 in California, for the Daughters of the American Revolution, American Association of University Women, Soroptimists International, National Council for Jewish Women, and League of Women Voters. Now, it's coming to the East Coast with more than 65 women involved in the performance in Massachusetts and California.

Adrienne Williams, who was a special needs teacher, principal and founding member of the New Bedford acapella group UMOJA, joined the Massachusetts cast to express and promote volunteerism, education, youth empowerment and leadership. Williams has played Rosa Parks, Sojourner Truth and Pauli Murray. The message she hopes will get through is “to encourage young people to raise their voices for a more just, equitable, compassionate society and to engage in community service and the political process.”

Iberall said the 45-minute musical is for all age groups, and everyone gets to see strong women in a positive light.

“For the older students, they are about to join the work force and we want them to realize they don’t have to accept the status quo because these women of the past didn’t,” Iberall said. “For adults, we want them to get more active and jump in to change the system using their wisdom and experience to do so.”

Thousands of California high school and college students have seen the performance, and a New England cast was formed in 2017.

“We sought out this play because we were looking for programming related to issues of equality,” Tina Malott, director of marketing and public relations at the Whaling Museum, said. “The Lyceum program is aimed at encouraging elevated public discourse on current events and other significant topics of public conversation.”

The team behind the production consists of Iberall, playwright and producer; Shirley Riga, producer; Terra Taylor Knudson, director and musical arranger; and Harriet Bennish, musical director.

Women featured in the show include Eleanor Roosevelt, Sojourner Truth, Rosa Parks, Alice Paul, and others. They were chosen by how well they represented certain topics, such as political rights, civil rights, education, personal rights and leadership.

“The characters on the stage represent hundreds of other tireless workers – these others have their names and accomplishments listed in projected slides that roll upwards behind the actors,” Iberall said. “I think it’s true that women’s rights are more in the forefront today since the election, but this play has been relevant since its inception and will continue to be relevant as long as women are ‘valued less … and subjected to violence in and out of their homes’ to quote Hillary Rodham Clinton’s 1995 speech at the 4th World Conference on Women.”

Following the performance will be a moderated panel discussion.