The Ensemble Theatre to be Honored with the Theatre Longevity Award and performs “Too Heavy For Your Pocket” at the 2022 National Black Theatre Festival

The Ensemble Theatre has long been a center for the history, culture, and artistic expression of African American theatre arts in the City of Houston.  Founded by George Hawkins in 1976, The Ensemble Theatre has grown to become a beacon of Black excellence and a focal point of Black history in the making, not only in the City of Houston, but across the Nation.  That is the very legacy that will be awarded at this year’s National Black Theatre Festival.  The Ensemble Theatre will receive the Theatre Longevity Award at the Opening Night Gala Awards Banquet on Monday, August 1, 2022 as a part of the historic National Black Theatre Festival.  In addition to receiving this prestigious award, The Ensemble Theatre is also scheduled to perform the production Too Heavy For Your Pocket.

Too Heavy For Your Pocket originally debuted at The Ensemble Theatre during the 2018-2019 season.  Too Heavy For Your Pocket is a beautifully written play by Jireh Breon Holder and directed by The Ensemble Theatre Artistic Director Eileen J. Morris that takes place in rural Tennessee during the height of the Civil Rights Movement.  It is the story of two young couples who struggle to understand justice, love, and their own responsibilities.  When one of the young men, Bowzie, gets a scholarship to attend Fisk University, he has the opportunity to improve his family’s life.  His education goes beyond the classroom, as he becomes a Freedom Rider and joins the fight against racism in the Deep South, leaving his obligations as a husband and friend behind.  This play takes a closer look at the personal cost and private struggles behind public events.  Too Heavy For Your Pocket speaks powerfully about the bonds of friendship and what defines true family. Performances for Too Heavy For Your Pocket will take place at the Salem College Elberson Fine Arts Center-Drama Workshop Theatre at 412 Rams Dr., Winston-Salem, NC.  The Ensemble Theatre is scheduled to perform on Friday, August 5 at 8PM, Saturday, August 6 at 2PM and again on Saturday, August 6 at 8PM.

The National Black Theatre Festival was founded by Larry Leon Hamlin and is produced by the North Carolina Repertory Company.  The National Black Theatre Festival is a biannual International artistic festival that highlights the history, culture, artistic expressions and advances in the arena of the Black theatre globally.  Held at what has been coined “Black Theatre Holy Ground,” the National Black Theatre Festival not only showcases, promotes and highlights Black theatre, but also contains artistic expressions and performances in the areas of film, music, spoken word, fashion, academia and fine art.  The National Black Theatre Festival also features seminars, workshops, open mic events, gallery tours and traditional African-style open-air markets.  Over 30 theatre companies from across the world are invited to perform at the festival.  The National Black Theatre Festival will take place from August 1, 2022-August 6, 2022 in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The Ensemble Theatre proudly invites interviews and press coverage from our local media, as this is a legendary moment, not only for The Ensemble Theatre, but for the entire African American and Artistic communities in the City of Houston.

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October 16, 2023, HOUSTON, TX – Congressional Candidate Amanda Edwards has raised over $1 million in less than 4 months, a substantial sum that helps bolster the frontrunner status of the former At-Large Houston City Council Member in her bid for U.S. Congress. Edwards raised over $433,000 in Q3 of 2023. This strong Q3 report expands on a successful Q2 where Edwards announced just 11 days after declaring her candidacy that she had raised over $600,000. With over $829,000 in cash-on-hand at the end of the September 30th financial reporting period, Edwards proves again that she is the clear frontrunner in the race. “I am beyond grateful for the strong outpouring of support that will help me to win this race and serve the incredible people of the 18th Congressional District,” said Edwards. “We are at a critical juncture in our nation’s trajectory, and we need to send servant leaders to Congress who can deliver the results the community deserves. The strong support from our supporters will help us to cultivate an 18th Congressional District where everyone in it can thrive.” Edwards said. “Amanda understands the challenges that the hard-working folks of the 18th Congressional District face because she has never lost sight of who she is or where she comes from; she was born and raised right here in the 18th Congressional District of Houston,” said Kathryn McNiel, spokesperson for Edwards’ campaign. Edwards has been endorsed by Higher Heights PAC, Collective PAC, Krimson PAC, and the Brady PAC. She has also been supported by Beto O’Rourke, among many others. About Amanda: Amanda is a native Houstonian, attorney and former At-Large Houston City Council Member. Amanda is a graduate of Eisenhower High School in Aldine ISD. Edwards earned a B.A. from Emory University and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. Edwards practiced law at Vinson & Elkins LLP and Bracewell LLP before entering public service. Edwards is a life-long member of St. Monica Catholic Church in Acres Homes. For more information, please visit

As September 13th rolls around, we extend our warmest birthday wishes to the creative powerhouse, Tyler Perry, a man whose indomitable spirit and groundbreaking work have left an indelible mark on the world of entertainment. With his multifaceted talents as an actor, playwright, screenwriter, producer, and director, Tyler Perry has not only entertained but also inspired audiences worldwide, particularly within the African-American community, where his influence and role have been nothing short of powerful. Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1969, Tyler Perry’s journey to stardom was a path riddled with adversity. Raised in a turbulent household, he found refuge in writing, using it as a therapeutic outlet. This period of introspection gave rise to one of his most iconic creations, Madea, a vivacious, no-nonsense grandmother who would later become a beloved figure in Perry’s works, offering a unique blend of humor and profound life lessons. Despite facing numerous challenges, including rejection and financial struggles, Perry’s determination and unwavering belief in his abilities propelled him forward. In 1992, he staged his first play, “I Know I’ve Been Changed,” which, although met with limited success, was a pivotal moment in his career. Unfazed by initial setbacks, Perry continued to hone his craft, and by 1998, he had successfully produced a string of stage plays that showcased his storytelling prowess.

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