The Ensemble Theatre, which also produced the regional premiere of Wilson's Gem of the Ocean, has assembled a season of world and regional premieres that will culminate in a production of The Wiz.
Radio Golf – the final play in Wilson's ten-play cycle chronicling the African-American experience in the twentieth century – is the first production presented by the Ensemble Theatre from Sept. 20-Oct. 19. Eileen J. Morris directs the Pittsburgh-set work.
For the holidays, The Twelve Ways of Christmas returns, running Nov. 11-Dec. 28. Penned by Carlton Leake and staged by Patdro Harris, the musical incorporates "the sounds of jazz, rhythm and blues along with gospel to give an excellent depiction of the varying perspectives of one's holiday."
Black History month commences with the world premiere of Thomas Meloncon's The Man Who Saved New Orleans, Jan. 29-Feb. 22, 2009. Eileen J. Morris stages the drama "that engages a humanistic portrayal of Katrina splashed with raw truths and the storm's profound impact both emotionally, psychologically and economically on the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region."
Constant Star – penned by former Westport Playhouse artistic director Tazewell Thompson – is the next offering, running March 19-April 12, 2009. The bio-drama, staged by Ron Jones, "takes a bold look at the life of civil rights pioneer, suffragette and outspoken activist Ida B. Wells. A fiery champion of equality for women and black Americans, Wells was co-founder of the NAACP and newspaper editor and publisher as well as one of the most powerful leaders in the anti-lynching campaign in America." Judi Ann Mason's comedy Livin' Fat will run April 30-May 24, 2009. Directed by Eileen J. Morris, Livin' Fat "depicts tough times for the Cooper family. When their money is tight, their affection for each other is limitless. However, their scruples are interestingly tested when they find a bundle of money which doesn't belong to them."
Ensemble Theatre's season concludes with William F. Brown and Charlie Smalls' soulful interpretation of "The Wizard of Oz," The Wiz, playing June 25-July 19, 2009. Patdro Harris directs and choreographs the musical that follows Dorothy's visit to the other side of the rainbow.
For tickets and season subscriptions phone (713) 520-0055. Further information is available by visiting www.ensemblehouston.com.
Founded in 1976 by the late George Hawkins to preserve African American artistic expression and enlighten, entertain and enrich a diverse community, Houston's Ensemble Theatre is one of the only 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.