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Montreat History Spotlight

Montreat Musicals

After World War II, the Montreat Young People's Club often would put on a summer amateur musical, ranging from broadway shows to multi-act presentations. The August 18, 1948, show was Moss Hart and George Kaufman's You Can't Take It With You. Margaret Scott and Loretta Clark were the co-directors.

This year, the tradition was revived with Montreat Madness "Take A Hike" on Saturday evening, July 12th. The event honored two long-time Montreat hikers and residents John Mack Walker, Jr., and Wade Boggs.

At the end of this story, we list some of the shows between 1948 and 1983. If you have old programs or photos from these or other shows, please contact the PHC at (828) 669-6556 or email us so that we better document these events. At right is the opening of the July 28, 1956 show — Let's Get Away From It All — directed by Virginia Lee Epes, and the program.

During 1949 to the mid-1950s, Margaret Wardlaw Gilbert (Wug) was the director and often writer of the annual musical. Just below is a picture of Margaret Gilbert in a scene from one of the shows.

Some of the shows over the years:

1948 You Can't Take It With You
(Moss Hart and George Kaufman)
Directors: Margaret Scott & Loretta Clark

1949 Shut My Mouff Again
Director: Margaret Wardlaw Gilbert

1950 The 1950 Minstrel Show
Director: Margaret Wardlaw Gilbert

1953 Montreat Madness of '53
Director: Margaret Wardlaw Gilbert

1954 Down the Mississippi

1955 Make Believe We're Real
Director: Ann Currie

1956 Let's Get Away From It All
Director: Virginia Lee Epes

1959 Montreat Madness Goes Around The World
Director: Penny Moffett

1983 The University of Patrons and Sponsors
Director: Margaret Wardlaw Gilbert

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Click to return to this month's Montreat History Spotlight

For previous Spotlights on Montreat History, click below
Early Missionaries at Montreat
1897 - 1907 Montreat Summer Religious Conferences
1897 - 1902 Leading Mountain Retreat —
          John C. Collins & Weston Gales
1897 - 1907 Founding & Saving Montreat — John S. Huyler
The Lake: the Lure & Lore of Montreat's Dam
Early Businesses in Montreat (1899 - 1915)
Historical Foundation
MRA Presidents/Executive Directors
Montreat Musicals
Current Month's Montreat History Spotlight

Martha Jackson of Nashville and Leighton McCutchen (above) singing "Make Believe" in the 1954 Montreat Club musical "Down the Mississippi." From the same musical (below), Bob Rodgers of Atlanta opened a mysterious crate.

Here are some scenes from the 1981 musical —

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PO Box 207, Montreat, NC 28757

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Exception to copyright notice above; The Montreat History Spotlight is copyrighted by CSI/ISI, 2007.