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BOLD Artistic Associate

The Ensemble Theatre congratulates and welcomes Rachel Hemphill Dickson as the artistic associate who will work with Artistic Director Eileen J. Morris through the BOLD Theatre Women’s Leadership grant. Morris, on behalf of The Ensemble Theatre, was among five female artistic leaders selected as the first in the Nation awarded part of a $1.25 million gift of The Pussycat Foundation and Northern Stage to support theatres run by female artistic directors across the United States. The grant provides leadership resources for women artistic directors as well as networking opportunities in semiannual meetings. It also provides for a woman Associate Director position designed to train the artistic directors of the future.

“I am excited to work with The Ensemble Theatre, and I’m both honored and humbled to have earned this selection,” says Dickson. “This is an opportunity for me to further hone my skills as an artist and a leader.”

Her duties as artistic associate officially begin July 1, 2018, although Dickson has already begun shadowing Morris at conferences and meetings. Dickson will be challenged with directing a mainstage production, overseeing the theatre’s touring education program, planning and teaching workshops, and developing an original project idea

“We are absolutely thrilled to not only have received the BOLD Theatre Women’s Leadership Grant, but to have an opportunity to expand our platform for a Houston artist to grow and innovate,” says Morris. “The arts community will benefit greatly from leaders with a strong foundation and the ability to lead in creative ways that build stronger institutions, embrace the evolution of the arts, and cultivate awareness and support.”

Rachel Dickson holds her Bachelor of Science in Engineering, where she developed a strong skill set in project and people management.  After receiving her Master of Fine Arts from University of Illinois-Urbana she found she had a passion for connecting people and the arts, which led to pursing her degree in Social Work from University of Houston and becoming a licensed Master of Social Work. Rachel is the founding Artistic Director of Driven Theater Company(DTC), whose focus is issue-driven experiences designed to empower, connect and entertain diverse audiences for the purpose of healthy development of all participants. 

Rachel has functioned as a professional artist for over 20 years.  She has worked as an actor, director, playwright, dramaturg, educator, producer, technical staff and artistic consultant.  While she calls The Ensemble Theatre home, she has worked with various theatres throughout the Houston community, including: The Alley Theatre, Main Street Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre, Landing Theatre Company, Interactive Theatre Company and Wordsmyth Theatre.  She has worked with all ages from Kindergarten to adult, in a variety of settings, teaching a wide-spread of topics from mathematics to theatre.    Rachel is the current president of Scriptwriters Houston and is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.  Her most exciting works have included: The Waiting Room, The Ballad of Emmett Till (The Ensemble Theatre at the National Black Theatre Festival); Belonging (Playwright, Producer, Actor - DTC/The Ensemble Theatre);  Seven Guitars, An American Menu, Plenty of Time, One Short Sighted Black Woman versus Safreeta Mae and Mammie Louis, Cinderella (Actor - The Ensemble Theatre); Platanos Y Collard Greens (Director - The Ensemble Theatre); Neat, Harlem After Hours (Director - Prairie View A&M University; The Diary of Anne Frank (Director - University of Houston-Downtown);  Third (Actor - Main Street Theater); Erie Canal, To Each His Own (Playwright - SWH 10x10 Festival); Trombone Trash (Playwright - published with Next Stage Press); devised work producer for multiple conferences.