Season Lineup Box Office Artistic Info Programs Facility Rentals Support the Ensemble About the Ensemble News Room
  Upcoming Workshops and Classes

BOLD Master Class
Building Optimum Lasting Development

For more Information and Registration contact:

Rachel Hemphill Dickson or 713-807-4323


Adult Master Classes
(Men and Women Invited)
October 27, 2018
, 9:00am-3:30pm
Register Online - Click Here

  • A hands-on theatre workshop experience that will increase the knowledge base of all participants
  • An application-based interaction appropriate for every level, seasoned and novice alike
  • Excellent for artistic disciplinary crossover
  • All those 16 and older are welcomed, younger students may be approved by The Ensemble Theatre leadership

COST: $10 for one session or $20 for two session.  The best deal is $20 for three sessions!  You may take any combination of the classes and join us as your schedule will allow.  Each two-hour class offered twice.  Snacks provided

9:00 SESSION offers the following classes: Directing, Set, Acting and Lights
11:00 SESSSION offers the following classes: Directing, Set, Stage Management, and Lights
1:30 SESSION offers the following classes: Stage Management and Acting
Schedule subject to change. 

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

(Lighting) Kris Phelps is entering her 12th season with the Ensemble Theatre, from whom she has received 5 Giorgee Awards and several nominations for best lighting design of the season. In addition to theater, she has designed for numerous dance companies and choreographers, children’s theater and opera, and live music of many genres. Her career has taken her across the US, Canada and Mexico. She has a Bachelor of Environmental Design degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder.

(Stage Management) Rachel R. Bush is an Assistant Professor at the University of Houston School of Theater & Dance, where she is the program head for the BFA in Stage Management and a recipient of the Ross M. Lence Teaching Excellence Award. In her 20 years of stage management, Rachel has had the privilege of working with amazing companies and artists from Broadway and Off-Broadway to the Regions, Internationally and the Event & Corporate world.

(Acting) Ella Joyce is an actress and author best known and beloved for her television role of “Eleanor” on TV’s Black family sitcom “Roc." She has worked extensively in Regional Theatre and wasand was recently seen at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in Having Our Say; its were she also earned both the JEFF Award and the BTAA Award for Lynne Nottage’s “Crumbs From the Table of Joy.” Ella also has world-premiered two August Wilson plays directed by Lloyd Richards, “Two Trains Running” and “King Hedley II”. She’s toured her one-woman critically acclaimed play “ A Rose Among Thorns” a tribute to Rosa Parks across the nation. Ella is also author of the popular, entertaining paperback “Kink Phobia, Journey Through A Black Woman’s Hair.”

(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. Most recently, Miss Finney directed and developed the critically acclaimed world premiere of Citizen: An American Lyric, by the award-winning PEN poet Claudia Rankin. Other recent works index Facing Our Truth:The Trayvon Martin Project at the Kirk Douglas theatre. The Lark Foundations rolling premier of The Road Weeps ,by Marcus Gardley at the Los Angeles Theatre Center, Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sisters Plays, Lisa B Thompson’s Single Black Female at the Crossroads Theater, Company and Dominique Morisseau’s Detroit 67 at the Penumbra Theater.

(SET) Janelle Flanagan has been engaged by The Ensemble Theatre for over 20 years and works at numerous theaters throughout Houston, including Houston Grand Opera.  Her most recent productions at The Ensemble were The Old Settler (National Black Theatre Festival presentation), Two Old Black Guys Sitting Around Talking, and Cuttin’ Up.  She is a member of IATSE Wardrobe Union Local 896.

BOLD MASTER CLASS is supported by the BOLD Theater Women’s Leadership Circle, an initiative to support and promote women’s theater leadership funded by The Pussycat Foundation.

Teen Master Class
(For Girls Age 13-19)
November 10, 2018, Noon-3:00pm
Register Online - Click Here

COST: $10
Snacks Provided

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. For 10 years, Toya served as Director of School Programs for The New York Philharmonic’s Education Department, where she helped to develop its nationally recognized School Partnership Program. In addition to being Executive Director of viBe Theater Experience, Toya is also an adjunct professor at CUNY CityTech, where she teaches Black Theater. Toya holds a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. from New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She has directed plays, developed curricula, led advocacy efforts and implemented innovative teaching artist training programs both in and out of New York city’s schools. As a theater teaching artist, Toya has worked extensively and passionately with teenage girls and young women in New York City.

“let go of his/her belief system and adapt to the belief of that character.” (TC Carson)

They must strengthen their innate abilities including, but not limited to: living fully in the present, being led by instinct rather than reason, being responsive to fellow actors in each moment, active engagement, and bringing their own personal meaning to everything.