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, but the Players continued to entertain at service hospitals and military installations, sometimes accompanied by First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. 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. 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).
In 1982, Montgomery Playeras and K-G Players 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 (MP).
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 longtime supporters at Asbury Methodist Village approached the Playhouse board of directors in early 2000 and suggested that MP 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.
From 2001-2010, MP produced an average of seven shows a year and a one act festival in the spring. The productions included everything from The Wizard of Oz, Driving Miss Daisy, 12 Angry Men, and Once Upon a Mattress, to a yearly showing of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. In 2002, we began our partnership with the City of Gaithersburg through Theater Arts Program Partners (TAPP) and were one of the first two groups to perform at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn. “We are delighted to have partnered with The Montgomery Playhouse since opening the Arts Barn,” says Shellie Williams, the City’s Arts Administrator and Facility Manager from 2013-2019 for the Arts Barn. “The Arts Barn and City of Gaithersburg are very fortunate to have this long-standing partnership with The Montgomery Playhouse.”
From 2011-2019, Montgomery Playhouse produced an average of four plays a year and the yearly one-act festival. MP productions included A Grand Night for Singing, Postmortem, The Reluctant Dragon, The Last Five Years, How the Other Half Loves, and the ever-loved yearly One-Act Festivals.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Montgomery Playhouse produced as much theater as possible over zoom and outdoors. Our yearly one-act festival was held with performances of Overtones and 146 Point Flame. Through the hard work of the MP community, a thoroughly masked production of She Kills Monsters was performed in-person and streamed live to audiences from all over the U.S. In the late spring, MP participated in a joint production of Walking with Shakespeare in April 2021 with the City of Gaithersburg and local community theaters in the area including A Taste For Murder Productions, Rockville Little Theatre, and Victorian Lyric Opera Company.
Montgomery Playhouse is known for incredible sets, directors, productions, and working within the community to present quality theater by encouraging community volunteers to flourish in and out of their comfort zones. Through performing comedies, tragedies, Shakespeare, theater for children, and musicals, MP will continue to produce meaningful theater as long as we are in Montgomery County! Montgomery Playhouse contributes to our community’s effort to develop and support cultural, social, and educational activities that encourage artistic expression. We hope you’ll attend a performance soon and become a regular patron!