MARGARET MOTTER Play 1938 The Call of the Hills

Pine Mountain Settlement School
Series 09: Biography – Staff/Personnel
MARGARET MOTTER: Served as a Principal & Teacher 1928 – 1938
and as the Publicity Representative
and Head of English Department from 1946 – 1949.

MARGARET MOTTER PLAY 1938 The Call of the Hills

MARGARET MOTTER Play 1938 The Call of the Hills

Margaret R. Motter – “The Call of the HIlls”. [mott_play_001]


TAGS: Margaret Motter, The Call of the Hills, play, theater, Pine Mountain Settlement School, Harlan County KY, Women’s Missionary Society of Philadelphia, Reformed Church in U.S., Evangelical Women’s Union, a play about mountain folk


BACKGROUND: MARGARET MOTTER PLAY 1938 The Call of the Hills

Margaret Motter‘s play, The Call of the Hills, was written from her experiences at Pine Mountain Settlement School (PMSS) in Harlan County, Kentucky. The play, written in local dialect, is brief but provides a window into the lives of the community as seen through the eyes of Motter. It was published jointly by the Women’s Missionary Society of Philadelphia and the Evangelical Women’s Union in St. Louis, Missouri. The publication date is unknown but probably followed Motter’s departure from Pine Mountain in 1938. She returned to PMSS in 1946 and taught until the Boarding School closed in 1949. The names of the characters in the play are reminiscent of an amalgam of students enrolled in the late 1930s and the early 1940s.

She writes of her intent in the Foreword to the play:

FOREWORD

This little play presents a scene in a mountain cabin and endeavors to portray the friendliness and love of home which are two predominant characteristics of the mountain folk. The people of the mountains are not especially talkative or demonstrative. With strangers they are very uncommunicative; but after they know “outlanders” or “furriners” (as they call the people from the outside), they reveal great depths of feeling and fine sensibilities. They show much restraint except when emotionally overwrought by grief or religious fervor; and possess dignity, poise, and a calm and unperturbed manner. The acting in this play should, therefore, be carefully done. The speaking should be quite deliberate and thoughtful.

May this peep into a mountain cabin give an accurate impression of the life of a happy family as the author saw it in several mountain homes where it was her joyous privilege to visit and enjoy a genuine and rare hospitality.

CHARACTERS

Joel Stevens ………………the Father, called
Martha Stevens ………..the Mother, called “Marthy”
Dick …………………………the older son who has finished at the Settlement
School and has gone away to work.
Joanna …………………….the older daughter who goes to the Settlement
School and is home for the weekend.
Walt ………………………..younger son at home 
Nancy Ann ………………younger daughter at home
Sary, Dan, and Lizzie ..small children in the family
Grandmother ………….called “Granny”
Silas ………………………..a neighbor


GALLERY: MARGARET MOTTER PLAY 1938 The Call of the Hills


See Also: 

MARGARET MOTTER – Biography

Guide to the MARGARET MOTTER COLLECTION