The Montgomery Playhouse, formerly known as The Montgomery Players, has been in existence since 1929, making MP the oldest continuously performing community theater in the Washington Metro area and the second oldest in the state of Maryland. In its earliest days, MP performed regularly in the Chevy Chase area, at Leland Junior High and the Landon School. During World War II, when most community theaters suspended activities, MP not only kept its doors open, the Players were kept busy entertaining at service hospitals and military installations, sometimes accompanied by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt.
Then, in 1962, MP relocated to Inverness Playhouse in North Bethesda. It was here that Oscar winner Goldie Hawn performed in our 1965 production of A Shot in the Dark, and Tony and Emmy- winner George Grizzard was an MP member.
The Montgomery Players took up residence at 1201 Quince Orchard Boulevard, in Gaithersburg, in 1972. Two years later, they offered to share this facility with the Kensington/Garrett Players, a group also rich in history. Garrett Park Players originated in 1949, performing on rented stages in local schools and recreation centers throughout Montgomery County. In 1960 they merged with the Kensington Players, which had been performing for several years at Kensington Junior High School. This combined group was known as the Kensington/Garret Players (K-G Players). The K-G Players thought they had found a permanent home in 1966 when they moved into the Kensington Armory, but eight years later, when the State of Maryland closed the Armory, the group moved to the Quince Orchard Boulevard facility.
In 1982, the two groups agreed to consolidate their advertising expenses and share their resources, aligning their schedules so that each group performed four shows per season. In 1989 the members celebrated 100 years of combined community theatre, an achievement recognized with a plaque from the State of Maryland. Finally, later that same year, the two groups officially merged to become The Montgomery Playhouse.
In late 1999, the Quince Orchard Boulevard facility was sold to a church organization. The Montgomery Playhouse staged its last production Our Town in that location in January of 2000. For the next year, determined to continue providing theater to the local community, the Playhouse went “on the road”, presenting several shows in the Shady Grove Middle School. Our patrons followed, and we survived.
Our good friends and long time supporters at Asbury Methodist Village approached the Playhouse board of directors in early 2000 and suggested that the Playhouse continue their productions in Asbury’s new cultural arts center. An agreement was struck, and in April of 2001, the Montgomery Playhouse presented The Diary of Anne Frank in their new location, the Rosborough Cultural Arts and Wellness Center at Asbury Methodist Village.
We are very pleased to continue our efforts to provide quality community theater. We hope you’ll attend a performance soon and become a regular patron!