Today we journey back to a time when people gathered in large groups to watch live performances. No, not that magical time that was 2019, in this case the performance was held almost exactly 86 years ago today.
The 1935 Mount de Chantal yearbook reprinted an article from The Wheeling Register detailing “The Play that Won the Cup”: a performance given during a drama competition among local high schools on April 27, 1935. The award was called The Loving Cup and it was presented by the Wheeling Little Theatre Group. Among the judges was a professor from the college that would later become Carnegie Mellon University.
The play itself was “The Princess Marries the Page”, the first play written by acclaimed 20th century author Edna St. Millay. Here’s the whole story and pics of the actresses in the performance itself!
THE PLAY THAT WON THE CUP
“The Princess Marries the Page,” the Mount de Chantal Academy play which took first honors in the annual one-act play tournament sponsored by the Little Theatre of Wheeling on Saturday, April 27, received special comment from Chester M. Wallace of Pittsburgh, Pa., who presided as judge. Professor Wallace is affiliated with the School of Drama at Carnegie Institute of Technology.
The play, of which noted playwright and poet Edna St. Vincent Millay is the author, was directed by Miss Mary Lee Zilliken, of the Mount de Chantal dramatic department. In the cast were the Misses Betty Jane McWhorter, Lillian Tootle, Catherine Chambers, Martha Bowers, Nancy Mathison and Mary Helen Burke.
Professor Wallace, in awarding first place to the Mount play, which competed with plays presented by the dramatic students of Triadelphia, Wellsburg, Martins Ferry, and Central Catholic high schools, stated that the Mount presentation was delightful throughout. “There was a definite feeling and tender sympathy between the various characters,” Professor Wallace said. “that gave a reality seldom found in amateur productions.” He particularly commended the students for their clear diction and their poise and grace as they moved about the stage.
Betty Jane McWhorter received honorable mention for her excellent portrayal of the Princess, and in the opinion of the professor, Lillian Tootle deserved much praise for the dramatic ability which she displayed. He also said that in the sincere treatment of her part, Catherine Chambers, as the King, captivated the audience with her seriousness and poise and Martha Bowers gave a splendid interpretation in her role as Chancellor.”
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