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History of Theatre at Moravian

Theatre Production

Moravian Theatre

History of Theatre at Moravian

In 1908, in order to raise funds for their baseball and basketball teams, the young men of Moravian University organized themselves as the "Footlights Club" and presented a play, The Flower of the Family, in the auditorium of the Seminary and College for Women on Church Street. The play was warmly received, and a repeat performance was offered at Lititz, Pennsylvania.

In 1928, members of the club were joined by young women from the Expression Department of the University for Women. Among the early joint productions was The Queen's Husband by Robert Sherwood. Productions continued at both institutions through the 1930s and 40s. In 1950, recognizing that footlights were no longer used in theatres, the club changed its name to The Blackfriars, under the direction of Professor Edward Kubach.

On the women's campus, the theatre group was known as The Players during the 1920s and 30s, and graduates were grouped as The Metpothalians. In 1939, The Players became The Little Theatre Group and presented Jane Austin's Pride and Predudice and Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. In 1942, both women's groups participated in a pageant marking the 200th anniversary of the Seminary and College for Women.

In 1955, the men's and women's theatre organization combined, following the merger of the two institutions, and retained the name Blackfriars. Professor Stefan George directed the Blackfriars in those years, as did Walter Beaupre, Robert Burcaw, and Eugene Jacobsen.

When Jack Ramsey assumed direction of the theatre efforts at Moravian in 1970, he brought with him the view that in the course of four years a student should be presented with a broad sampling of major periods and forms of theater. Productions have ranged from Greek tragedy to black comedy; from farce and musical comedy to Shakespeare; from Feydeau to The Fantasticks. Summer Dinner Theatre was introduced, as were children's theatre and student-directed productions. In 1981, with the opening of the Arena Theatre, the Blackfriars gave way to the Moravian University Theater Company, which continues to thrive.

Now, over one hundred years old and under the direction of Christopher Shorr, Theatre at Moravian University has expanded to include opportunities for students to major or minor in Theatre, to work with the community on large scale theatre projects, and to bridge to the profession with the University's affiliated professional ensemble company Touchstone Theatre. The most recent addition to the University's theatre-related offerings is the launch of it's first Master of Fine Arts degree--an MFA in Performance Creation. Moravian is building new traditions in a second century--a standard-bearer for a College tradition in drama.

Production Lists

MCTC History - 1970's Productions

  • Moliere's Tartuffe
  • Hrothsvitha's Paphnutius and Dulcitiu
  • Fauquet's Reynard the Fox (Carol Brown – student)
  • Feiffer's Feiffer's People
  • Taggart's Deadwood Dick


MCTC History - 1980's Productions

  • Goodrich & Hackett's The Dairy of Anne Frank
  • Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Taggart's Lily, the Felon's Daughter
  • Capote's The Grass Harp
  • Aidman's/Edgar Lee Masters' Spoon River Anthology
  • Boland & King’s Elementary, My Dear (Mary Mumper – student)
  • Coward's Blithe Spirit
  • Jones and Schmidt's The Fantasticks (Janice Pope)
  • Inge's The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
  • Euripides' Ion
  • Christie's The Mousetrap (Madeleine Ramsey)
  • Rodgers & Charnin's Two by Two
  • Wycherly's The Country Wife
  • Williams' Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Madeleine Ramsey)
  • Hart's Light up the Sky
  • Wise & Bimonte's Yankee Ingenuity
  • Inge's Bus Stop
  • Gurney, Jr.'s The Dining Room (Madeleine Ramsey)
  • Ayer, Wilder, & Sundgaard's Nobody's Earnest
  • Coward's Hay Fever
  • Friel's Lovers (Madeleine & Jack Ramsey)
  • Moss's The Folding Green
  • Stitt's The Runner Stumbles
  • Shevelove & Sondheim's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Madeleine & Jack Ramsey)
  • Pielmeier's Agnes of God
  • Johnson's Dirty Work at the Crossroads
  • Greth's Windfall Apples
  • Coward's Private Lives
  • A Feydeau Festival: "Ladies Man," "The Boor Hug," & "Going to Pot"
  • Anouilh's Antigone
  • Shaffer's Five Finger Exercise (William F. Bauman)
  • Llyod's & Van Druten's The Damask Check
  • Plautus's The Rope
  • Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba
  • Simon's The Good Doctor
  • Barry's The Philadelphia Story
  • Caruso & Curnow’s Vaudeville Tonight ( William F. Bauman)
  • Hellman's The Little Foxes
  • Feydeau's A Flea in Her Ear (2nd Act -Janice Pope)

MCTC History - 1990's Productions

  • Hart & Kaufman's You Can't Take it With You
  • T. Williams’ Evening of One Acts: 
    "27 Wagons Full of Cotton" (Jack Ramsey)
    "Portrait of Madonna" (William F. Bauman)
    “This Property Is Condemned” 
    “The Case of the Crushed Petunias”
    “Lord Byron’s Love Letter” (Thyra Hartshorn – student)
  • Miller's All My Sons
  • Feydeau's The Pregnant Pause
  • Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler
  • Gurney’s Another Antigone (Thyra Hartshorn – Honors Project)
  • Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night
  • Frings' Look Homeward, Angel
  • Sophocles' Electra
  • Machiavelli's The Mandrake
  • Powers, Quinn & Jan's Do Black Patent Leather Shoes Really Reflect Up
  • Robinson's Drama at Inish or Is Life Worth Living
  • Barton's The Hollow Crown
  • Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing
  • Tompson, Kander, & Ebb's Flora, The Red Menace
  • Wilde's The Importance of Being Earnest
  • Moliere's The Miser
  • Bennett's Habeas Corpus
  • Masterof, Kander & Ebb's Cabaret (Joseph Shosh)
  • William's Summer and Smoke
  • Goldoni's Servant of Two Masters
  • Hamilton's Angel Street
  • Kaufman's Arsenic and Old Lace
  • Pickering's Some Canterbury Tales (William F. Bauman)
  • C.P. Taylor's And A Nightingale Sang
  • Anouilh's Waltz of the Toreadors
  • Pirandello’s Six Characters..... (Stephen Cook – Honors Project)
  • Moliere's Tartuffe
  • Goldemberg's Letters Home
  • Evans, Valentine & Ayckbourn's Tons of Money
  • O'Casey's Juno and the Paycock
  • Michael Hollinger Incorruptible (William F. Bauman)

MCTC History - 2000's Productions

  • Sophocles' Antigone
  • Sterling's The Ugly Duckling
  • Alcott's Little Women
  • Williams's The Glass Menagerie
  • Williams's Suddenly Last Summer (William F. Bauman)
  • Denise Dugan's Daisy Pulls It Off
  • Julie Jensen's Last Lists of My Mad Mother
  • Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten
  • Gian Carlo Menotti's The Old Maid and the Thief
  • Laurie Brooks' The Wrestling Season (Charlie DelMarcelle)
  • Wilder's Our Town
  • Emily Ralph's Aliya
  • Philip King's See How They Run
  • Kanins' Rashomon
  • Gressieker's Royal Gambit
  • Gurney, Jr.'s What I Did Last Summer (William F. Bauman)
  • Ibsen's Ghosts
  • Stevens' The Sum of Us (William F. Bauman)
  • Goggins' Nunsense
  • Goodrich's The Diary of Anne Frank
  • Harling's Steel Magnolias
  • Jones' and Schmidt's The Fantasticks
  • Kaufman's The Laramie Project
  • Transdition—An original, devised theatre piece created by the Moravian University Theatre Company
  • Growing Up Naked, by Richard M. Barbie
  • Seneca’s Oedipus
  • Student Directed One Act Plays:  The Laundromat, by Marsha Norman; Adam and Eve on a Ferry, by Tennessee Williams; Who’s on First, by Harold J. Gilles

MCTC History - 2010's Productions

  • Betty's Summer Vacation" by Christopher Durang
  • "The Fountain of Fair Fortune" by Lena Gabrielle
  • "Waiting For Godot" by Samuel Beckett
  • "The Clean House" by Sarah Ruhl
  • "Clytemnestra's Daughters" (Reading) by Christopher Shorr
  • "2010 Student Cabaret"
  • "Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog" By Joss Whedon, Zack Whedon, Jed Whedon and Maurissa Tancharoen
  • "The Whitman Piece" a world premiere co-production with Touchstone Theatre by Bill George
  • "Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead" (Reading) by Bert V. Royal
  • "Escape" (Reading) by Gao Xingjian
  • "Frankly" (Reading) by Alanah Cervantes
  • "2011 Student Cabaret"
  • "The Real Book of Gig" a world premiere Jazz Opera by Lou Lanza and Tony Gairo
  • "Frankly" a world premiere musical by Alanah Cervantes
  • "A Resting Place" a world premiere co-production with Touchstone Theatre by Alison Carey
  • "Tooth and Claw" (Reading) by Michael Hollinger
  • "Good People" (Reading) by David Lindsay-Abaire
  • "All in the Timing" (Reading) by David Ives
  • "Disco Pigs" (Reading) by Enda Walsh
  • "2012 Student Cabaret"
  • "Cravings" a guest performance by Belle Linda Halpern
  • "Faust in France" by Christopher Shorr
  • "The Memorandum" by Vaclav Havel
  • "2013 Student Cabaret"
  • "Mrs. Warren's Profession" (reading) by George Bernard Shaw
  • "Laughter on the 23rd Floor" (reading) by Neil Simon
  • "The Importance of Being Earnest" (reading) by Oscar Wilde
  • "Sketches" student works-in-progress
  • "Proof" by David Auburn
  • "Hello Herman" by John Buffalo Mailer
  • "Jesus Christ Superstar" by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber, co-produced with the Moravian University Choir
  • "Interpreting Superstar" (reading and discussion)
  • "Dirty Hands" by Jean-Paul Sartre
  • "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" by Jeffrey Hatcher
  • "Superstory" a world premiere musical by Thom Eiser
  • "Henry V" (reading) by William Shakespeare
  • "Death of a Salesman" (reading) by Arthur Miller
  • "Journey from the East" a world premiere co-production with Touchstone Theatre by Bill George and Christopher Shorr
  • "The Real Inspector Hound" (reading) by Tom Stoppard
  • "A Streetcar Named Desire" (reading) by Tennessee Williams  
  • "Exhibit A" (World Premiere) by Christopher Shorr and Sam Weinberg  
  • "The Unfinished Work of Trevor Davis" (reading) A New Musical by Brian Strohmetz  
  • "The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-In-The-Moon Marigolds" by Paul Zindel
  • "An Ideal Husband" (reading) by Oscar Wilde
  • "Murdered to Death" by Peter Gordon
  • "Everyman on Trial" by Christopher Shorr
  • "God"(reading) by Woody Allen
  • "Boeing-Boeing" by Marc Camoletti
  • "Stuff: a new play about unsustainability" devised by the Moravian University Theatre Company
  • "Circle Mirror Transformation" (reading) by Annie Baker
  • "Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui" by Bertolt Brecht
  • "The Homecoming" by Harold Pinter
  • "Last Lists of my Mad Mother" (reading) by Julie Jensen
  • "[Title of Show]" by Jeff Bowen & Hunter Bell
  • "A Midsummer Night’s Dream" (reading) by William Shakespeare
  • "Truth//Delusion" (reading) by Matt Hogan
  • "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" By Tom Stoppard
  • "One Night" (reading) by Kayleigh Ficarra
  • "Truth//Delusion" by Matt Hogan
  • "Sakura: requiem for Hiroshima and Nagasaki" by Keiin Yoshimura

MCTC History - 2020's Productions

  • “Holy Laughter” (reading) By Catherine Trieschmann
  • “Beyond Utopia” Devised by Moravian students and Teatr Brama
  • “DOG SEES GOD: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead” by Bert V. Royal
  • Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of The People” A new version by Brad Birch
  • "Vincent" by Leonard Nimoy
  • "Secondary Cause of Death" (Alumni zoom radio drama) By Peter Gordon
  • "The Crucible" (Zoom Reading) by Arthur Miller
  • "Almost, Maine" by John Cariani
  • "Ubu Sock Puppet" (film) adapted from from Alfred Jarry's "Ubu Roi" by Christopher Shorr
  • "Comenius: Legacy of Innovation" (film) by Christopher Shorr
  • "Is Love So Small A Pain?" adapted from Euripides' “Medea” by Abbie Jean Litman and Matt Prideaux
  • "Puzzle Pieces" (Reading) by Krista Boehnert
  • "The Frontera Project" (performance workshop)
  • "I and You" by Laura Gunderson
  • “Antigone” Adapted from Sophocles by Christopher Shorr
  • "THE HOUND SHOW" Student Cabaret
  • "Worldwide Ukrainian Play Readings" an evening of theatre in solidarity and support for the people of Ukraine