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The Ensemble Theatre's 2018-2019 Season is filled with a variety of special projects and performances for your continued entertainment. Please add the dates below to your calendar and join us as we Elevate the Power of the Arts!

All stage readings are at The Ensemble Theatre, 3535 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002.

For more information call 713-520-0055


Monday, September 17, 2018
Tickets: $5 CASH Preferred

Blues for an Alabama Sky
by Pearl Cleage
Directed by Rachel Hemphill Dickson

This poignant story takes place as the Harlem Renaissance gives way to the Great Depression and celebrates four friends who face hard times with strong hearts. They include a Cotton club chanteuse who recently lost her job, her costume-designer roommate who dreams of working with Josephine Baker in Paris, their neighbor Delia who crusades for Margaret Sanger's family-planning clinics, and a dedicated doctor who just wants to "let the good times roll."


Monday, October 15, 2018
Ticketss: $5 CASH Preferred

Hospice and Pointing at the Moon
by Pearl Cleage
Directed by Eileen J. Morris

These two one-act plays are set 30 years apart and explore mother daughter relationships as Jenny Anderson longs to understand her mother and find her own voice.


Saturday, October 27, 2018, 9:00AM - 3:00PM
BOLD Master Class --Adult Men and Women

Register Here

Acting, Directing, Lighting, Stage Management, and Set Design

Classes will be facilitated by the following dynamic women who, combined, have over 1000+ productions to their credit:

(Lighting) Kris Phelps has over 200 lighting designs to her credit and has designed across the US, Canada and Mexico for numerous dance performances, children’s works and live music of many genres.

(Stage Management) Rachel Bush is currently the Head of Stage Management at University of Houston and has worked from Broadway and Off-Broadway to Internationally, for theater and the Event/Corporate world. 

(Acting) Ella Joyce is an actress best known for her television role as Eleanor Emerson on the comedy-drama sitcom "Roc" and was recently seen at Chicago’s Goodman theatre in Having Our Say.

(Directing) Shirley Jo Finney, an alumnus of the American Film Institute’s Director Workshop for Women with an MFA degree from UCLA is an award-winning international director of theatre, television, and film, as well as an accomplished actress.

(SET) Janelle Flanagan – has been engaged by The Ensemble Theatre for over 20 years and also works in numerous theatre companies in Houston.  

BOLD MASTER CLASS is supported by the BOLD Theatre Women's Leadership Circle, an initiative to support and promote women's theatre leadership funded by the Pussycat Foundation.


November 10, 2018, 12:00PM - 3:00PM
BOLD Master Class - Teen Girls Age 13-19
Facilitated by Toya Lillard
Snacks Provided

Register Here

This workshop will use devised theatre, a way of working that uses improv techniques to create an original performance derived from the people involved in the workshop.  Participants will create an artistic response to the world around them.  The process can be of significant benefit to help youth when challenged in a variety of life areas.

Toya Lillard is a theater director, artist, activist and educator. A native Houstonian from an artistic family, Toya graduated from Houston’s High School for Performing and Visual Arts, then attended Vassar College and further developed her interest in arts education, particularly in the use of theatre to help youth address issue relevant to their personal and civic development.

BOLD MASTER CLASS is supported by the BOLD Theatre Women's Leadership Circle, an initiative so support and promote women's theatre leadership funded by the Pussycat Foundation.


Monday, November 19, 2018, 6:00PM

Tickets: $5 CASH Preferred

Chain and Late Bus to Mecca
by Pearl Cleage
Directed by Yunina Barbour Paine

Chain tells the story of Rosa, a sixteen-year-old crack addict, whose parents have chained her inside the house in a desperate attempt to keep her away from drugs.

Late Bus to Mecca explores the relationship of two women who meet in the bus station and find their lives suddenly joined in unexpected ways. 

Monday, December 3, 2018, 6:00PM

by Jason Carmichael

Tickets: $5 CASH Preferred


This is a continuation of August Wilson's "Fences". The focus is on the Maxson children: Cory (Vietnam Vet), Lyons (Ex-Convict) and Raynell (Black Panther Party Member). The narrative spans from 1968 - 2000 and follows the Maxson family through three decades. Rose, the family matriarch, struggles to hold on to her children as they make a way in life the best they can, playing the hands that they have been dealt


December 9,10, 11, 2018, 7:30PM
Just a Little Love
by Andre Neal
Tickets: $10 CASH Preferred

Celebrating the Creative Journey Artist Project will host a featured project by Ensemble Theatre Artist Andre Neal entitled: Just a Little Love, a story that deals with how a family copes with a soldier’s (PTSD) Post Traumatic Stress Disorder upon his return home.  This serious message about life’s struggles follows a family as they build on what they have through laughter and love. 



Monday, December 10, 2018, 6:00PM
FREE TO THE PUBLIC - Donations Encouraged


The Long Shadow
by Frances Causey

In this powerful documentary, the filmmakers, both privileged daughters of the South, who were haunted by their families’ slave owning pasts, passionately seek the hidden truth and the untold stories of how America—guided by the South's powerful political influence—steadily, deliberately and at times secretly, established white privilege in our institutions, laws, culture and economy.



Monday, January 28, 2019, 6:00PM

The Three Crosses
book and lyrics by Eric Jones
composed by Joshua Davis
directed by Lakeisha Randle

Tickets: $5 CASH Preferred


THE THREE CROSSES is a soulful Broadway Style musical drama that reinterprets the greatest story ever told and brings into the forefront the racial politics of today. It is a story within a story where a 1940’s white Southern Radio station director hired black actors to perform a passion play about Barabbas & the Two Thieves. A gifted black actress’ courage is tested to the limits when her brother is killed by the Klan. This play deals with the power of forgiveness, racial reconciliation and having courage under fire.






Monday, February 11, 2019, 6:00PM


Roger Guenveur Smith's Frederick Douglass Now

This tour-de-force solo show explores the life of the great 19th-century African American orator, writer, thinker and activist—whose ideas on racial and gender equality still resonate. An actor, writer and Spike Lee film veteran (School Daze, Do the Right Thing), Smith brings Douglass’s ideas into the present moment, mingling the abolitionist’s words with original text, slam poetry, music and contemporary performance elements. As the country marks the 200th anniversary of Douglass’s birth, Smith deftly exposes where we stand on the matters of freedom and dignity Douglass articulated. Smith last performed at Dartmouth in 1998 with his Obie Award-winning solo show on Huey P. Newton.



Monday, March 11, 2019, 6:00PM
FREE TO THE PUBLIC - Donaions Encouraged

FILM TCG Legacy Leaders of Color Video Project featuring:
Tisa Chang Miriam Colon, Luis Valdez, Frank Chin

The Ensemble Theatre joins the Theatre Communications Group (TCG) for their Legacy Leaders of Color Video Project highlighting 9 of the nations trailblazing founders of minority theatre groups. The Ensemble Theatre will continue the series by featuring the following leaders:

  • Tisa Chang
  • Miriam Colon
  • Luis Valdez
  • Frank Chin

CLICK TO VIEW CLIP LLCVP 1MIN Teaser from Theatre Communications Group on Vimeo.


March 18,02019, 7:00PM
$10 CASH at Door

To RSVP in advance: CLICK HERE

Set against the backdrop of the real-life 1998 lynching of James Byrd Jr., the play fictitiously confronts polarizing issues—race, homosexuality, AIDS, populism, nationalism, gender equality—that are as relevant to our current strife and division in the United States as they were then, perhaps more so. 




March 29, 30, 31, 2019, 7:30PM
$10 CASH (or online fee may apply)

Celebrating the Creative Journey Artist Project will host a featured independent project Ensemble Theatre Artist Yunina Barbour Payne entitled: The Legend of Mountain Mama, a choreo-poem that presents the voices of five Black women whom illuminate issues of environmental racism in the Appalachian region. The play focuses on creative survival, and the complex interconnection between people and place.



Saturday, April 20, 2019, 7pm
Annual Poetry Slam

$15 Advance
$20 at the Door

Drama-try: A Night of Dramatic Poetry
Join us for our annual poetry showcase featuring some of Houston's most talented performance poets.

This night Drama-try or Drama infused poetry, raises funds to support the endeavors of The Ensemble Theatre Act One Young Professionals to introduce professionals age 20-40 to the theatre, and to cultivate the next generation of theatre supports with a scholarship for a youth ages 6-17 to participate in the theatre's Young Performers (performing arts education) Program.

For More Information: Act One Young Professionals


Monday, April 22, 2019, 6:00PM
$5 CASH (or online fee may apply)

Force Continuum
by Kia Corthron
Directed by Don Wilson Glenn

An African-American police officer struggles with the contradictions of his race and profession while confronting the black community he is bound to protect and being haunted by his cop father’s violent death.



Monday, May 20, 2019, 6:00PM
$5 CASH (or online fee may apply)

Smart People
by Lydia Diamond
Directed by Kendrick Brown

One the eve of Barack Obama’s 2008 election, four Cambridge residents with the best of intentions to broach an explorative dialogue on racism, find that issues of self-awareness, identity, and race are stumbling blocks that even “smart people” can’t seem to avoid.


Monday, June 17, 2019, 6:00PM
$10 CASH (or online fee may apply)    


Crumbs From the Table of Joy
by Lynn Nottage
Directed by Rebecca Udden

This break out play for Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage is the coming of age story of a young Black girl whose family is finding its way through the Brooklyn of 1950, as she teeters between filtering her life experiences through the fantasy of movies, and learning the real poetry and pain of the world.