The Ensemble Theatre Celebrates Historical Icons Muhammad Ali and Stepin’ Fetchit in “Fetch Clay, Make Man”

Houston, Texas, UNITED STATES

HOUSTON, Dec. 11, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Who/What:    The Ensemble Theatre celebrates Muhammad Ali and Stepin’ Fetchit, two defining figures in sports and comedy, with Fetch Clay, Make Man, by Will Power and directed by Mirron Willis.

“My life has allowed me to explore relationships as a man, a person of color, and as an actor,” says Willis. “I had the opportunity to portray Malcom X in 'The Meeting,' a play where the relationship between Malcom X and Martin Luther King Jr. were explored, and now I’m delving into the unlikely friendship between another two men; on one hand you have someone celebrated as one of the many faces of the civil rights movement, and on the other, a person legendary in achievement whose career represents a smoldering societal shame still felt to this day.”
Historical icons - Muhammad Ali & Stepin' Fetchit explore friendship at the heart of race relations in 1960s America. The play is set on the eve of the Cassius Clay―Sonny Liston rematch, and based on the friendship between the actor Stepin Fetchit and Cassius Clay―soon to become Muhammad Ali. Fetch Clay, Make Man explores how each handled a life in the public eye as black men in their respective eras―Hollywood in the 20s, where a black actor’s career depended on playing caricatures, and the mid-60s, after the assassination of Malcolm X.  With “incisive characterizations, crackling dialogue and generous doses of dark humor” (Hollywood Reporter).

Featured Cast members include: Derrick Brent II, Jason E. Carmichael, Renee’ Rivon, Henry Edwards Jr., and Trevor Cone.
When:      Previews: Saturday, January 20, 2018:8:00 p.m.      
      Sunday, January 21, 2018:3:00 p.m.      
      Wednesday, January 24, 2018:7:30 p.m.      
     Show Run:January 25 – February 25, 2018       
      Thursdays:7:30 p.m.      
      Fridays:8:00 p.m.      
      Saturdays:2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.      
      Sundays:3:00 p.m.      
****Opening Night and Media Reception Thursday, January 25, 2018****
Where:    The Ensemble Theatre        
     3535 Main St, Houston, TX 77002        
Ticket Prices: $23 - $50        

The Ensemble Theatre's 2017-2018 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 official airline sponsor for The Ensemble Theatre. Fetch Clay, Make Man is generously sponsored by Chevron.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

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. Forty-one years later, the theatre has evolved from a touring company operating from the trunk of Mr. Hawkins’ car to being 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. Late 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.

Fetch Clay, Make Man

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