Morter, Mary

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Morter, Mary

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Dates of existence

1924-2008

History

Lilian Mary Morter (born Jones) was born in London, Great Britain, on April 1st, 1924, as daughter of the carpet factory owner and mayor of Gloucester / England, William Jones. From 1950 to 1987, Mary was married to the engineer Eric Morter. They had two children, Jennifer and Michael. The family immigrated to Canada in 1957, where they first lived in Toronto, Ontario, before settling in Montreal, Quebec, in 1963.
Mary Morter began her career as actress with the Cheltenham Little Theatre Group in Gloucestershire, where she performed in her youth. When the family settled in Toronto, Ontario, Mary Morter started playing for CBC television. She founded the amateur theatre company The Questers, and was president of the Broadview Barn Players. She also was member of the Christian Drama Council of Canada. Shortly after having moved to Montreal, Québec, she founded the theater group “The Unknown Players”. The group toured the city to present plays in English, as such following Morter’s believe that theater should be accessible to everybody. Little later, Mary Morter founded, together with Jack Cunningham, the English lunchtime theatre Instant Theatre in Place Ville Marie, Montreal, which opened its doors on February 1st, 1965. Morter was the head of the theatre until 1969. Her successor, Maurice Podbrey, closed the theatre in November 1969, to reopen it as nighttime theatre under the name Centaur Theatre. In 1971, Mary Morter founded the touring company Pendulum Theatre, which offered performances all over Quebec. The bilingual production of Oskenonton, based on North American Indian legends and played by aboriginal actors, was its main success.
Mary Morter completed Library studies at Concordia University in 1977. She worked from 1979 to 1986 at Alcan international, and thereafter as assistant librarian at McGill University. In the 1990s, she was involved with the Westmount amateur drama group Dramatis Personae.
Mary Morter died on March 28, 2008 in Westmount, Québec, Canada.

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Created 2019-05-28.

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Sources


  • Mary Morter’s Instant Theatre : an honor thesis / by Jennifer Jensen. – 1995. – 75 p. – Concordia University Library, Special Collections, Mary Morter fonds (P239)
  • Theatre maven who founded the Centaur's precursor / by Alan Hustak. - in : Montreal Gazette (April 6, 2008), p. 14

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