Montgomery Davis, Important Figure in Milwaukee Theatre, Dies at 67

Obituaries   Montgomery Davis, Important Figure in Milwaukee Theatre, Dies at 67
 
Montgomery Davis, who founded and operated the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre for 30 years, died May 20 in his sleep at Clearview Home in Delafield, WI, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. He was 67 and had been hit with symptoms of a stroke on May 8.

In the close-knit world of Milwaukee theatre, Mr. Davis was a key figure, both as the artistic director of the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre and as an actor at Milwaukee Repertory Theatre and other local stages. He first performed in the city at Skylight Opera Theatre before being asked in 1973 to join the troupe at Milwaukee Rep, the largest theatrical outfit in the metropolis. Only two years later, he decided to found Milwaukee Chamber Theatre with fellow actor Ruth Schudson.

Itinerant until it took up residence at the Broadway Theatre Center in 1993, the Chamber Theatre focused on intimate theatre experiences and the works of George Bernard Shaw. From 1983 to 2002, MCT was the only theatre company in the United States to produce an annual Shaw Festival. The theatre's existence greatly expanded the opportunities of Milwaukee-based actors, particularly those not accepted into the Rep's fold. During his time as artistic director, Mr. Davis piloted more than 100 productions. He stepped down from the leadership post in 2004.

While running MCT, Mr. Davis continued to perform at Milwaukee Rep. He was also a regular at Peninsula Players in Door County in the 1980s, and at Melody Top.

A devout Christian Scientist, Mr. Davis was born in New York City. He was educated at Princeton University. His professional training was at the Webber Douglas School of Dramatic Art in London, England, where he developed a love for Shaw and the classics.

According to the Journal Sentinel, no funeral is planned. Davis had no immediate family in the U.S. A memorial service will be held at 6 PM June 4 in the Cabot Theatre at the Broadway Theatre Center, 158 N. Broadway. Memorial contributions to the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, the Bernard Shaw Society, Fourth Church of Christ, Scientist, or Princeton University were suggested.

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