Morter, Mary

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Morter, Mary

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      • Morter, Lilian Mary
      • Jones, Lilian Mary

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      Lilian Mary Morter (born Jones) was born in London, England, on April 1st, 1924. She was daughter of William Jones, mayor of Gloucester, England, and carpet factory owner. From 1950 to 1987, she 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.

      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, Morter started playing for CBC television. She founded The Questers, an amateur theatre company, 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, Morter founded the theater group The Unknown Players. The group toured the city and presented plays in the English language, following Morter’s believe that theater should be accessible to everybody. Later, together with Jack Cunningham Morter founded the English lunchtime theatre Instant Theatre in Place Ville Marie, Montreal, which opened its doors on February 1, 1965. Morter was the head of the theatre until 1969. Her successor, Maurice Podbrey, closed the theatre in November 1969, to later reopen it as the Centaur Theatre. In 1971, 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.

      Morter completed a degree in library studies at Concordia University in 1977. From 1979 to 1986, she worked at Alcan Internationa. Following this, she worked as an 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.


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      Created 2019-05-28.




          • 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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