In 1955, energetic 14-year-old Emmett Till was visiting Mississippi from Chicago. After allegedly whistling at a white woman, he was taken by a group of white men, tortured, murdered and then discarded in the river with a weight tied around his neck for his “crime.” Till became an icon of the Civil Rights movement after his mother insisted on an open casket funeral so that the world could see what had happened to her son. That tragic tale lies at the center of Ifa Bayeza’s blazing drama The Ballad of Emmett Till, currently at Houston’s Ensemble Theatre. As horrifying as Till’s story is, Bayeza’s play is not all darkness. There are many moments of joy as Bayeza celebrates this young man’s too short life. 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 7:30 p.m. Thursdays, 3 p.m. Sundays. Through February 26. 3535 Main. For information, call 713-520-0055 or visit www.ensemblehouston.org. $12 to $35.
Thursdays-Sundays. Starts: Feb. 2. Continues through Feb. 26, 2012