The Ensemble Theatre Announces Its 2012-2013 Season

HOUSTON, May 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre Artistic Director, Eileen J. Morris, announces the theatre's 2012-2013 season including a variety of comedies, dramas, classic, and musical productions.

"We are excited to present a season of intrigue and suspense mixed with a little family fun and nostalgia," says Morris. "Theatre continues to tell stories that bridge our exposure and understanding of the fascinating world around us."

Romance and comedy kick off the season in The Nacirema Society by renowned author and playwright Pearl Cleage; A 2010 and 2011 Audience Favorite, The African American Shakespeare Company's Cinderella is back by popular demand for the holidays; Knock Me a Kiss, by Charles Smith, brings the suspense of a love triangle based on a true story; next, a loving family handles its struggles with grace and humor in Broke-ology, by Nathan Louis Jackson; in David Mamet's Race, the epic comparison between race and sex takes place in the court room; and the season finale musical, From My Hometown, conceived by Lee Summers, brings the music of Motown to the Apollo theatre for a celebration of brotherhood and pursuing one's dreams.

This year's Annual Black Tie Gala will be held August 18, 2012, at the Hilton Americas – Houston. This is the theatre's largest fundraising endeavor.

Act One, the theatre's new young professionals group is working on a calendar of events that will include pre-show mixers, and a poetry event that drew over 200 new attendees to the theatre in its inaugural showcase.

The Ensemble Theatre will continue its performing arts education programing and youth initiatives. Productions from the theatre's Touring Education program will be expanded into a mini season of children's theatre available to families and schools. The Young Performers Program has added week long sessions during spring and winter breaks along with a pre-k/ kindergarten session to supplement the two month-long regular sessions during the summer.

The theatre's 11th Annual Golf Tournament in support of its youth programs will be held Monday, October 29, 2012 at the Blackhorse Golf Club in Cypress, TX.

The Ensemble Theatre's 2012-2013 Season Includes:

The Nacirema Society
PG/ Romantic Comedy
By Pearl Cleage
Directed By Eileen J. Morris
September 22 – October 21, 2012
Opening Night and Media Reception: September 27, 2012

Every year since Emancipation, the Nacirema Society of Montgomery, Alabama introduces six elegant African-American debutants to a world of wealth, privilege and social responsibility.  This year, at its 100th anniversary, with young love brewing, old flames simmering and national media attention on-hand. . . what would dare to go awry?  Pearl Cleage, award winning playwright of Blues for an Alabama Sky and Flyin' West, and New York Times best-selling author of Oprah book club selection, What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day, invites you into this glamorous world where folks still dress for dinner.  A sparkling romantic comedy!

G/ Musical
By African American Shakespeare Company
Original Music, Lyrics, and Musical Direction By Carlton Leake
Directed and Choreographed By Patdro Harris
November 10 – December 23, 2012
Opening Night and Media Reception: November 15, 2012

This timeless story is back again for everyone to enjoy! The classic tale is given a fresh, vibrant, and soulful makeover, much like our heroine's, complete with all the gallantry, all the pageantry, and all the charm of the original, but with the added hilarity of evil Stepsisters and, of course, a hip, zany, in-your-face Fairy Godmother who makes the magic happen. This is a romantic and dazzling winter tale for the holidays that can be enjoyed by the entire family!

Knock Me A Kiss
PG/ Drama/ Suspense
By Charles Smith
Directed By Chuck Smith
January 26 – February 24, 2013
Opening Night and Media Reception: January 31, 2013

Knock Me a Kiss takes place during the 1920s in Harlem. The story follows Yolonda DuBois, a woman torn between two lovers. One is a fast-living musician, Jimmy Lunceford, the other a poet, Countee Cullen, sanctioned by her father, activist W.E.B. DuBois.  This fictional account is inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. Du Bois' daughter Yolande to one of Harlem's great poets, Countee Cullen. The marriage marked the height of the Harlem Renaissance and was viewed as the perfect union of Negro talent and beauty. It united the daughter of America's foremost black intellectual, co-founder of the NAACP and publisher of Crisis Magazine, with a poet whose work was considered to be one of the flagships for the New Negro movement. At what personal cost does a leader pay to make life better for so many others when he is blind to those living in his own home?

PG/ Drama
By Nathan Louis Jackson
Directed By Eileen J. Morris
March 17 – April 14, 2013
Opening Night and Media Reception: March 21, 2013

In accordance with Broke-ology – the science of being broke - the King family has learned to balance sacrifice and let love keep them together. Set in a beleaguered Kansas City neighborhood, two grown brothers try to balance the challenges of their own lives with their desire to care for their ailing father. Even as they remember simpler times, tension builds between the brothers as their conflicting interests churn into a surprising outcome. Broke-ology is a warm and wrenching play about a loving African-American family facing its troubles with humor, resiliency, and grace.

PG/ Drama
By David Mamet
Directed By Eileen J. Morris
May 4 – June 2, 2013
Opening Night and Media Reception: May 9, 2013

David Mamet wrote about his play in a recent essay comparing Race with sex, and denoting that truth can never be revealed about the two things. A high-profile wealthy white businessman is accused of raping a black woman in a hotel room. He seeks counsel from a law firm that has an African American as a partner. The lawyers give their potential client, who claims the sex was consensual, a reality check on the conspiracies of the American legal system, the media and, most of all, race. But not everything is black and white — or is it?

From My Hometown
G/ Musical
Conceived By Lee Summers
Writers: Lee Summers, Ty Stephens, and Herbert Rawlings, Jr.
Directed/Choreographed By Patdro Harris
Music Direction By Carlton Leake
Previews: June 22 – July 28, 2013
Opening Night and Media Reception: June 27, 2013

Three wide-eyed strangers, with empty pockets and big dreams, arrive in The Big Apple from Detroit, Memphis and Philly with one goal in mind – to sing at the world famous Apollo Theater. Teaming up and blending the musical sounds of their hometowns, they form a brotherhood spanning more than a decade. This rags to riches celebration of the American Dream, features Motown and R&B classics including "Chain Gang," "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay" and "Lonely Teardrop."

For information regarding subscriptions, tickets and group sales call The Ensemble Theatre Box Office:  713-520-0055 or visit

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.

The Ensemble Theatre produces a main stage season of contemporary and classic works devoted to the portrayal of the African American experience by local and national playwrights and artists. The theatre's Performing Arts Education program provides educational workshops, Artist-in-Residence experiences and live performances for students both off-site and at the theatre. Through its varied programs, The Ensemble Theatre benefits an audience and artistic constituency of approximately 65,000 people annually.


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