The Ensemble Theatre Presents World Premiere of the Man Who Saved New Orleans

HOUSTON, Jan. 12, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre kicks off the New Year with the January 24, 2009 world premiere of The Man Who Saved New Orleans by nationally known playwright Thomas Meloncon. The Man Who Saved New Orleans tells the story of a family searching for life, love, and unity after Hurricane Katrina. The connection to their Creole heritage gave them strength, purpose, and a sense of family loyalty. Now they must rebuild their lives in Houston while facing raw truths that could crack their only foundation.each other.

"Through this story I want people to realize and respect the strength, endurance, and fortitude of the great people of Louisiana," said Meloncon.

Eileen J. Morris, Artistic Director for The Ensemble Theatre holds the distinction as the first to direct this timely production.

"No one was prepared for the long journey to recovery following Hurricane Katrina, and now we are faced with recovery from Hurricane Ike," said Morris. "It's an honor to have the opportunity to direct a story that deals with an event that had such a huge impact on our nation."

 Previews:     Saturday, January 24:                  8:00p.m.
                         Sunday, January 25:          3:00p.m.
                         Wednesday, January 28:       7:30p.m.

         Show Run:      January 29 - February 22, 2009
                        Thursdays:        7:30p.m.
                        Fridays:          8:00p.m.
                        Saturdays:        2:00p.m. and 8:00p.m.
                        Sundays:          3:00p.m.
      *** Opening Night is Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 7:30p.m. *** 

Thomas Meloncon is widely known for his play, The Diary of a Black Man, which was performed Off-Broadway in 1982. He has been commissioned to write several productions that deal with a variety of social issues for different organizations' needs. Meloncon has written a repertoire of over 30 plays and book of poetry titled Poetry In E Minor.

Featured Actors Include: Joe Palmore, Wayne DeHart, Rachel Dickson, Raiya Goodman, Byron Jacquet, Broderick Jones, Bebe Wilson, and Jaida Wyatt.

The Ensemble Theatre's 2008-2009 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 was generously underwritten by Shell Oil.

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 six 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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