The Ensemble Theatre Presents The Old Settler

A Revival Comedy by John Henry Redwood

HOUSTON, April 22, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre presents its revival comedy, The Old Settler by John Henry Redwood and directed by Ensemble Artistic Director Eileen J. Morris with Opening Night and Media Reception, Thursday, May 8, 2014, 6:30 P.M.

In World War II Harlem, New York, a fifty-five-year-old spinster (or as they were called in those days—an Old Settler), Elizabeth Borny, rents a room in her apartment to a dashingly handsome young male tenant named Husband Witherspoon. Husband came from South Carolina to search for his pretentious girlfriend, Lou Bessie Preston, who is eager to shed her country shackles in exchange for the worldly sophistication of the big city, but he finds himself falling for the older woman.

Also living with Elizabeth is her feisty fifty-three year old sister, Quilly McGrath. She doesn't like Husband living with them in the first place, and surely doesn't approve of their "carrying on," especially since Elizabeth is old enough to be his mother. It is this "carrying on" that strains the ominous tension between the sisters and exposes a thirty-year-old wound they must finally address to mend their relationship once and for all.

This story celebrates African American women and addresses the question of age, strength, and forgiveness during the Harlem Renaissance: the love between an older woman and younger man, a young woman reinventing her life, and sisters reconciling their estranged past.

The Old Settler was first staged in 1996 and selected by the Russian Theatre Union to be performed in Sheleykovo, Russia and in Moscow, with both an American and Russian cast where Redwood's playwriting was complimented as being very "Chekovian." Houston born actresses and real life sisters Phylicia Rashad and Debbie Allen produced, directed, and appeared in the April 2001 television premiere of the play on PBS Hollywood Presents.

Featured cast members include: Roc Living, Detria Ward, Samantha West, and Bebe Wilson

Previews: May 3,4, and 7 Show Runs: May 8 – June 1, 2014

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

Tickets Available Online:  For Information Call: 713-520-0055

Ticket Prices: $19 - $44

****Opening Night and Media Reception is Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.****

The Ensemble Theatre's 2013-2014 Season is sponsored in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. United Airlines is the exclusive airline sponsor for The Ensemble Theatre.

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. Thirty-seven years later, the theatre has evolved from a small touring company to one of Houston's finest historical cultural institutions.

The Ensemble is one of a few professional theatres in the region dedicated to the production of works portraying the African American experience. The oldest and largest professional African American theatre in the Southwest, it holds the distinction of being one of the nation's largest African American theatres owning and operating its facility and producing in-house. 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 has fulfilled and surpassed the vision of its founder and continues to expand and create innovative programs to bring African American theatre to myriad audiences.


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