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Ensemble Theatre

3535 Main St. Houston, TX 77002 | Downtown/ Midtown | 713-520-0055

Location Description:

Founded more than 30 years ago "to preserve African-American artistic expression and to enlighten, entertain and enrich a diverse community," Midtown's Ensemble Theatre gets better each season. The stage fare is distinctly varied and indefectibly produced with the company's usual high polish and downtown sass. With musicals, comedies, dramas and every combination thereof, the talent on display is prodigious, the works are given definitive productions and all that's needed is your presence. You can reach Ensemble by our beloved Metro light rail — the stop's right across the street. How convenient is that for great, enlightened theater?


Related Stories (55)

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  • Art Attack: Stage
    The setup: I Wish You Love is not a biopic of Nat King Cole, but rather a slice-of-life segment of a single year in his life, 1957. Essentially, it is trip down memory lane, composed...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Detria Ward, named Best Actress at last year’s Houston Theater Awards, appears as Elizabeth Borny in The Old Settler. John Henry Redwood’s bittersweet drama follows Elizabeth, a...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Bayou City Concert Musicals brings us -another in its series of cabaret productions with Let’s Fall in Love: The Songs of Harold Arlen. The genius behind such enduring classics as...
  • Art Attack: Top 5
    It's a weekend of hilarity -- hilarity with an accent -- at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's Five Funny French Films festival, an annual gathering of contemporary French comedies. Friday...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Pulitzer Prize-winning Lynn Nottage’s comedy By the Way, Meet Vera Stark looks at what life was like for an African American actress in 1930s Hollywood. Here’s a hint: You could...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The setup: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X met just once, for only one minute, at a press conference at the U. S. Senate on March 28, 1964, but playwright Jeff Stetson has done...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    What if two of the most powerful — and polarizing — leaders of the black civil rights movements met and found they had more in common than anybody ever thought? That’s the...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Frosty the Snowman and other familiar Christmas tales have a worthy competitor this year as the Ensemble Theatre brings a new holiday story to the stage: Djembe and the Forest of Christmas...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The set-up: If there hadn't been a little show on Broadway called The Lion King, this world premiere musical fairy tale from Carlton Leake (book, music, lyrics), scrumptiously realized on...
  • Art Attack: Top 5
    You might not know her name, but you likely recognize Megan Hilty. She starred as Galinda in the musical Wicked both on Broadway and on tour. Later, she played the perky blond foil to...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The set-up: The siblings of the Bryant family return to their roots in the home they were raised in, a large, attractive house in racially-integrated Hyde Park in South Chicago. The...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The set-up: Three male performers meet by chance in Harlem, each on the way to callback auditions at the famed Apollo Theater. They spar competitively with each other, bond briefly, and...
  • Art Attack: Top 5
    Our pick for Friday is the opening reception for the art exhibit "B?s" Rabe'a Ballin, Ann Johnson, Delita Martin and Lovie Olivia" at Art League Houston. "B?s" (pronounced "base") is the...
  • Culture: Theater
    The title of David Mamet's last successful play is a four-letter word. Race. Surprise? Mamet is the Shakespeare of the scatological, the poet of the profane. He's the only contemporary...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The set-up: The title of David Mamet's last successful play is a four-letter word. Surprise? Mamet is the Shakespeare of the scatological, the poet of the profane. He's the only...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The setup: In Broke-ology, a father, a widower, has medical problems, and his two sons attempt to cope with his increasing need for care while pursuing their own lives and interests....
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The set-up: The social apex of the Harlem Renaissance was the marriage in 1928 of the poet Countee Cullen to Yolande Du Bois, daughter of W.E.B. Du Bois, educator and leader in establishing...
  • Art Attack: Visual Arts
    It's been almost five years since Les Grands Ballets Canadiens de Montréal visited Houston and contemporary dance lovers have anxiously been awaiting its return ever since. The Houston...
  • Culture: Theater
    It's so rare when a new play makes an impression that when it does, you feel like you're walking on air. Pearl Cleage's romantic comedy, The Nacirema Society, in its regional debut in a...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The setup: It's so rare when a new play makes an impression that when it does, you feel like you're walking on air. Pearl Cleage's romantic comedy, The Nacirema Society, in its regional...
  • Culture: Theater
    You can't tell a book by its title. Nor a musical. The somber-sounding Sanctified suggests a deep religiosity but delivers a rollicking entertainment certain to delight. The dancing and the...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The set-up: In Sanctified , now running at Ensemble Theatre, the pastor for East Piney Grove Baptist Church in rural South Carolina wants to bring some musical changes to revitalize the...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    It's easy to think that Paul Oakley Stovall's comedy Immediate Family is simply about a young gay man who comes out to his family, but it's more than that. ''It's a play about family,''...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    The Ensemble Theatre's new show, From My Hometown, isn't exactly a jukebox musical; it includes original music. It's also not an original musical; it uses classic soul songs from the Motown...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Race and rape. Individually, they're each highly charged topics. Playwright David Mamet puts them together in the explosive play Race, being mounted here by Ensemble Theatre. A white man is...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Meet the King family of Kansas City. The Kings are experts in ''broke-ology'' — that is, the unscientific science of making do on a limited income. Regardless, they live, they laugh,...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Houston favorites Detria Ward and Wayne DeHart head the cast of Charles Smith's Knock Me a Kiss, now onstage at the Ensemble Theatre. The action is set in Harlem in the 1920s. Yolanda...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    The music of Show Boat composer Jerome Kern gets the spotlight in the Bayou City Concert Musicals' cabaret presentation Jerome Kern in Hollywood. In 1935 Kern moved to Hollywood, where his...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    There’s a new holiday theater tradition brewing at the Ensemble Theatre. Due to popular request, the company is staging its rendition of Cinderella for the third year in a row....
  • Calendar: Highlights
    It’s 1964, Montgomery, Alabama. The Civil Rights struggle is in full swing, but for the women in the Dunbar family, the only thing that matters is the Nacirema Society debutante ball....
  • Calendar: Highlights
    The 35th-anniversary season of the Ensemble Theatre closes with Javon Johnson’s joyous gospel musical Sanctified, directed and choreographed by Patdro Harris, with musical direction by...
  • Culture: Theater
    Of all contemporary American playwrights, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner August Wilson, who died in 2005, is perhaps the most old-fashioned. Which is a splendid thing. He loves the...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The setup: Of all contemporary American playwrights, Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner August Wilson, who died in 2005, is perhaps the most old-fashioned. Which is a splendid thing. He...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, a series of ten plays that tell the story of an African-American neighborhood in Pittsburgh over the ten decades of the twentieth century, is an...
  • Art Attack: Music
    The setup: Hungarian transplant Sigmund Romberg composed some of Broadway's most luminous melodies during its '20s golden age. His lush, operatic songs are in fine hands with Bayou City...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Music greats Billie Holiday, Barbra Streisand and Bobby Darin all sang Sigmund Romberg’s songs. True, Romberg composed mainly for the Broadway stage, but his tunes were so strong, they...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The setup: The chrome on the three barber chairs gleams brightly in Janelle Flanagan's "kitchen sink" set for Charles Randolph-Wright's rich, if sketchy, tapestry of black life as witnessed...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Among the canon of plays set in barbershops and beauty parlors is Charles Randolph-Wright’s Cuttin’ Up. As in its counterparts, Steel Magnolias and, of course, Barbershop,...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The setup: The brutal murder by two white men of 14-year-old Emmett Till, an African-American, was a pivotal moment in America's Civil Rights movement, and is here chronicled from the point...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    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...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    The Ensemble Theatre’s lively, rollicking production of Cinderella sheds the gossamer fragility of the fairy tale in exchange for broad humor. This interpretation was developed by San...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The setup: The Ensemble Theatre's take on Cinderella sheds the gossamer fragility of the fairy tale for broad humor and a lively, rollicking treatment. The execution: There are two...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Winning the lottery might seem a stroke of luck, but Cliff Roquemore’s Lotto: Experience the Dream at The Ensemble Theatre shows us that winning big often comes with its own set of...
  • Houston News: Tales from Transit
    Well my mama told me, my papa told me too Now my mama told me, papa told me too Well I shouldn't be here tryin' to sing these railroad blues. Metro will ignore this parental advice...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The Ensemble Theatre, the oldest and largest professional African American theater in the Southwest, has been invited to perform at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem,...
  • Culture: Theater
    Want a show that's cool enough for these humid nights of summer? Want a show that's also hot enough to steam up the windows? Three talented ladies — and one randy male phantom who...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The set-up: Three women live at the same seedy Chicago hotel and sing their hearts out about...what else, the blues, in Sheldon Epps' 1982 Tony-nominated jukebox musical, now entrancing...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Every blues song began with a broken heart. In Sheldon Epps’s musical review Blues in the Night, three scorned, broken-hearted women sing blues song after blues song. The show opened in...
  • Art Attack: Stage
    The set-up: "I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and to the motion picture industry," said Hattie McDaniel as part of her acceptance speech in 1940 when she won the...
  • Culture: Columns
    Jitney The big dramatic confrontation in August Wilson's thrilling Jitney happens at the end of Act I, between father and son. Becker (an incandescent Wayne DeHart) and his son Booster...
  • Culture: Columns
    Curtains When musical veterans John Kander and Fred Ebb come up with such a clunker as Curtains, there's got to be a reason. Death's a pretty good excuse, of course, and since Ebb died...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Set in Pittsburgh during the fall of 1977, August Wilson’s Jitney is one of the formidable playwright’s most loved of his ten-play Pittsburgh cycle. The body of work tells a story...
  • Culture: Columns
    The Last 5 Years Directed by Jimmy Phillips with pace and deftness, and presented by Mildred's Umbrella Theater, this is an ambitious two-character musical that combines some original...
  • Culture: Columns
    Bus Stop In the 1950s, William Inge was lauded along with Tennessee Williams and Arthur Miller as one of the three great American playwrights. His four seminal plays — Come Back,...
  • Calendar: Highlights
    Throughout most of the twentieth century, Gee’s Bend was an isolated dot on the map of Southern Alabama, where poverty, racism and sexism were constant companions for the dwindling...

Best of Award Recipient

Business Description

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.

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