The Ensemble Explores Wealth and Social Class With Lydia R. Diamond's 'Stick Fly'

HOUSTON, March 29, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre presents its comedy-filled production of 'Stick Fly' by Huntington Playwriting Fellow Lydia R. Diamond, with an opening night and media reception April 8, 2010, 6:30PM at 3535 Main St, Houston, TX 77002.

'Stick Fly' brings forth a perspective of the African American Diaspora seldom seen on stage.

"This play is in a refreshingly contemporary setting where we are introduced to a 'Fresh Prince of Bellaire' type of family intertwined with a bit of blue humor and posh wit," says Eileen J. Morris, Artistic Director for The Ensemble Theatre.

The LeVays, an affluent African American family, gather in their vacation home on Martha's Vineyard. Dr. LeVay, a respected neurosurgeon and hopeless philanderer, has two sons: one that has followed in his footsteps, and the other who is a struggling novelist. Each son brings along his girlfriend to meet the family for the first time, resulting in confrontations about race, the economy and politics. The family ties rapidly unravel as tensions rise when secrets are revealed. Through lively exchanges and simmering wit, they tackle the challenges of family life and the changing world around them.

"We are excited to be the first theatre in the Southwestern region of the U.S. to present 'Stick Fly'," says Morris about the third show she has directed during the theatre's 2009-2010 season.

Previews: April 3, 4, and 7, 2010 Show Run: April 8 – May 2, 2010

Performances: Thursdays: 7:30p.m.; Fridays: 8:00p.m.; Saturdays: 2:00p.m. and 8:00p.m.; and Sundays: 3:00p.m.

For tickets and seating availability call: 713-520-0055 or visit:

Diamond is a graduate of Waco High School, making her the third playwright with Texas roots in The Ensemble Theatre's season lineup. She is a Huntington Playwriting Fellow, a professor at Boston University, a Resident Playwright at Chicago Dramatists, and a Theatre Communications Group (TCG) Executive Board Member. Stick Fly led her to become a finalist for the 2008 Susan Smith Blackburn Award, and won the 2006 Black Theatre Alliance Award (BTAA) for Best Play. She was critically acclaimed for her adaptation of Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye, winning the 2008 American Alliance for Theater and Art (AATA) Distinguished Play Award and the 2006 Black Arts Alliance Image Award.  Her other productions include: Voyeurs de Venus ('06 Joseph Jefferson Award -- Best New Work, '06 BTAA -- Best Writing), The Gift Horse (Theadore Ward Prize, Kesselring Prize 2nd Place), Harriet Jacobs, and Lizzie Stranton. 

The Ensemble Theatre's 2009-2010 Season is sponsored in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Texas Commission on the Arts. Continental Airlines is the exclusive airline sponsor for The Ensemble Theatre. This production is generously underwritten by Cullen Trust for the Performing Arts and National Oilwell Varco.

The Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1976 by the late George Hawkins to preserve African American artistic expression and to enlighten, entertain, and enrich a diverse community. The theatre is known as the only professional theatre in its region dedicated to the production of works portraying the African American experience. In addition to being the oldest and largest professional African American theatre in the Southwest, it also holds the distinction of being one of the nation's largest African American theatres that owns and operates its facility with an in-house production team. Board President Emeritus Audrey Lawson led the capital campaign for The Ensemble's $4.5 million building renovations that concluded in 1997.


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