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  Media Release
CONTACT:  Robert Ross
  March 4, 2019
(713) 310-1648/ 713-520-0055
  For Immediate Release

The Ensemble Theatre Gets Lifted with Laughter in “Freeda Peoples”

HOUSTON (March 4, 2019) – The Ensemble Theatre gets lifted with laughter in playwright Joyce Sylvester’s church comedy, Freeda Peoples,directed by Eileen J. Morris; Opening Night and Media Reception, Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6:30 p.m. 3535 Main Street, Houston, Texas 77002.

Sylvester is the award-winning playwright, director, and actress who bought Houston audiences Women In the Pit, her play that led to a command performance during The Ensemble Theatre’s 2014-2015 season. Freeda Peoples won her the Audelco Award for Best Director in 2004.

“I like the subtle details in Joyce’s characters,” says Morris. “This play has a beautiful combination of day-to-day life truths, and explores the human condition of people working in service to the church.”

The Bible says all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, there is a none righteous not even one (Romans 3:32). Therefore, the church is the perfect place for spiritual growth. Freeda Peoples deals with the relationships between the deacons, trustees, and the new pastor and how no one is who they really seem to be. This comedy/drama will have you rolling in the aisles.

Featured Cast members include: (REVEREND SCOTT) Jason Carmichael, (REBA SCOTT) Delali Potakey, (ELDER JONES) Roc Living, (DEACON BEASLEY) Byron Jacquet, (DEACON LEWIS) Shane Warren Jones, (SISTER ANN) Joyce Anastasia Murray, (FREEDA PEOPLES) Callina Situka.

Previews:  March 16, 17, and 20, 2019
Show Runs: March 21 – April 14, 2019

Performance Days and Times: Thursdays: 7:30 p.m; Fridays: 8:00 p.m; Saturdays: 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m; and Sundays: 3:00 p.m.

Tickets Available Online:    For Information Call: 713-520-0055

Ticket Prices: $23- $50

Opening Night and Media Reception, Thursday, March 21, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

About the Playwright:
Joyce has had the honor of being under the tutelage of great legendary
playwrights such as the Negro Ensemble Company’s co-founder, Douglas Turner Ward, Steve Carter, Ed Bullins and Leslie Lee. She is the first recipient of the 2005 August Wilson Playwright’s Audelco Award for A Freeman’s Hope and the 2003 Audelco for best playwright, Faith On Line – which also played at the 2003 NBTF. Her hit play, Freeda Peoples (2005 NBTF) won her the Audelco for Best Director and a2004 Proclamation from the Brooklyn Borough President, Marty Markowitz. Her previous plays Mercedes and Grace In The Light received five Audelco nominations each which includes best playwright.

Joyce continues to write and direct plays for professional theatre as well as church and school productions. As director, some of her credits include For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf, All Praise Due To Allah Only The Mistakes Have Been Mine, A Long Time Since Yesterday as well as her own plays Grace In The Light, Faith On Line, Freeda Peoples, A Freeman Hope and Women In The Pit. As an actress, Ms. Sylvester’s was last seen at the New Perspectives Theatre in The Night Of The Working Dead, Harriet Tubman in Steal Away, and her own play Women In The Pit at the National Black Theatre Festival, Winston Salem, NC. Other productions at NBTF include Samm Art Williams, Dance On Widows Row and Rupture Running Through Risk Running To Bliss directed by Justin Lord. Off Broadway productions include Steve Carter’s West Indian Classic, Pecong, Take Wing and Soar productions, The Stuttering Preacher, Woodie King, Jr.’s, New Federal Theatre Two Can Play, The Trial Of One Short Sited Black Woman Vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae at NJPAC, and the tour of Ntozake Shange’s For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When The Rainbow Is Enuf. She originated such roles as Candy in Livin’ Fat - NEC and The Billie Holiday Theatre, Tracey-Ada in Ramona King’s Steal Away - N.F.T. and Carmen Casteel in Inacent Black on Broadway starring Melba Moore and Reginald Vel Johnson to name a few. Film and Television include: co-star in For Love Of Amy directed by Love Boat’s Ted Lange, The Right To Remain Silent as Officer Collins, starring Patrick Dempsey and Christopher Lloyd, Ellen, and numerous independent films. Joyce is also the recipient of the NAACP Theatre Award/CA, Audelco Award/NY and the Dramalogue Critics Award/CA and a member of the Dramatist Guild Of America, Inc, The League of Professional Women In Theatre, Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA.

The Ensemble Theatre's 2018-2019 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.

The Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1976 by the late George Hawkins to preserve African American artistic expression and enlighten, entertain and enrich a diverse community. In addition to being held as 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.

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. The Young Performers Program offers intensive summer training for children ages 6 to 17 encompassing instruction in all disciplines of the theatre arts.