THE ENSEMBLE THEATRE
www.ensemblehouston.com
 


Artistic Director of The Ensemble Theatre EILEEN J. MORRIS

Presents

KNOCK ME A KISS

By Charles Smith

Directed by Chuck Smith

January 26 - February 24, 2013

 

 


(R-L) Jimmie Lunceford played by Jason E. Carmichael the musician romances Yolande Du Bois played by Michelle Elaine.  A famous band leader in 1920s Harlem, Jimmie Lunceford wanted to marry the daughter of prominent figure W. E. B. Du Bois who was the legendary civil rights activist leader, author, editor and co-founder of the NAACP.  KNOCK ME A KISS is now showing through February 24, 2013 at the Ensemble Theatre located at 3535 Main Street, Houston Texas 77002 USA.  For more information, click on www.EnsembleHouston.com

 

 
 

The Ensemble Theatre Presents Knock Me a Kiss by Charles Smith

Bringing in the New Year With Drama and Suspense Set in 1920's Harlem

 

HOUSTON, Jan. 7, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

 

Who / What:   The Ensemble Theatre will debut its first production by award winning playwright Charles Smith as its 2012-2013 season continues. The show will be directed by visiting artist Chuck Smith, resident director at Chicago's Goodman Theatre.

The Ensemble Theatre presents KNOCK ME A KISS by award winning playwright Charles Smith and directed by visiting artist Chuck Smith.  "This story shows a different perspective than what we are used to seeing against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance," says Eileen J. Morris, Ensemble Theatre Artistic Director.  "Many of us know of the defiance and artistic uprising of social conscience during that period, but throw in a bit of romanticism and the plot thickens with the soul stirring richness of life."

         

Knock Me a Kiss takes place during the 1920s in Harlem. The story follows Yolonda DuBois, a woman torn between two lovers. One is a fast-living musician, Jimmy Lunceford, the other a poet, Countee Cullen, sanctioned by her father, activist W.E.B. DuBois. This fictional account is inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. Du Bois' daughter Yolande to one of Harlem's great poets, Countee Cullen. The marriage marked the height of the Harlem Renaissance and was viewed as the perfect union of Negro talent and beauty. It united the daughter of America's foremost black intellectual, co-founder of the NAACP and publisher of Crisis Magazine, with a poet whose work was considered to be one of the flagships for the New Negro movement. At what personal cost does a leader pay to make life better for so many others when he is blind to those living in his own home?

 

CAST

 

Jimmie Lunceford (the musician)..............................Jason E. Carmichael

W. E. B. Du Bois (co-founder of the NAACP).................................Wayne DeHart

Yolande Du Bois (the daughter).................................Michelle Elaine

Nina Du Bois (the mother).................................Detria Marie Ward

Countee Cullen (the poet).................................Mirron E. Willis


(R-L) Nina Du Bois played by Detria Marie Ward mother of Yolande Du Bois played by Michelle Elaine.  A famous family in 1920s Harlem, the father is none other than prominent figure W. E. B. Du Bois who was the legendary civil rights activist leader, author, editor and co-founder of the NAACP.  KNOCK ME A KISS is now showing through February 24, 2013 at the Ensemble Theatre located at 3535 Main Street, Houston Texas 77002 USA.  For more information, click on www.EnsembleHouston.com

 

         

When: Previews: Saturday, January 26, 2013: 8:00 p.m.

    Sunday, January 27, 2013: 3:00 p.m.

    Wednesday, January 30, 2013: 7:30 p.m.

         

  Show Run: January 31 February 24, 2013  

    Thursdays: 7:30 p.m.  

    Fridays: 8:00 p.m.  

    Saturdays: 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.  

    Sundays: 3:00 p.m.  

         


(L-R) W. E. B. Du Bois played by Wayne DeHart father of Yolande Du Bois played by Michelle Elaine.  A famous family in 1920s Harlem,  prominent figure W. E. B. Du Bois was the legendary civil rights activist leader, author, editor and co-founder of the NAACP.  KNOCK ME A KISS is now showing through February 24, 2013 at the Ensemble Theatre located at 3535 Main Street, Houston Texas 77002 USA.  For more information, click on www.EnsembleHouston.com

         

Where: The Ensemble Theatre    

  3535 Main St.    

  Houston, TX 77002    

  713-520-0055    

  www.ensemblehouston.com

 

The Ensemble Theatre's 2012-2013 Season is sponsored in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Texas Commission on the Arts. United Airlines is the exclusive 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 to enlighten, entertain, and enrich a diverse community. Thirty-six years later, the theatre has evolved from a touring company operating from the trunk of Mr. Hawkins' car to being one of Houston's finest historical cultural institutions. The Ensemble is one of a few professional theatres in the region dedicated to the production of works portraying the African American experience. The oldest and largest professional African American theatre in the Southwest, it holds the distinction of being one of the nation's largest African American theatres owning and operating its facility and producing in-house. Board President Emeritus Audrey Lawson led the capital campaign for The Ensemble's $4.5 million building renovations that concluded in 1997. The Ensemble Theatre has fulfilled and surpassed the vision of its founder and continues to expand and create innovative programs to bring African American theatre to myriad audiences.

 


W. E. B. Du Bois played by Wayne DeHart (center) with his wife and daughter converses with Countee Cullen played by Mirron E. Willis (right).  A famous family in 1920s Harlem,  the father W. E. B. Du Bois was the legendary civil rights activist leader, author, editor and co-founder of the NAACP.  KNOCK ME A KISS is now showing through February 24, 2013 at the Ensemble Theatre located at 3535 Main Street, Houston Texas 77002 USA.  For more information, click on www.EnsembleHouston.com

 

Houston's Ensemble Theatre Meets $75,000 Individual Donor Challenge

Ensemble's Inaugural Founder's Circle $250,000 Campaign Exceeds Goal With Major Donor Challenge

 

HOUSTON, Jan. 3, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre (TET) ended 2012 on a dramatic note by meeting a $75,000 individual donor match challenge. By meeting the donor challenge, TET surpassed its inaugural 2012 Founder's Circle Campaign goal of $250,000. "The donor challenge was achieved through the generosity of the greater Houston community, including honorary chairs, new and existing patrons, artists, friends, board members and staff, who invested in TET despite a tough economy," said Janette Cosley, Executive Director.

 

Honorary Co-Chairs Becky and Ralph S. O'Connor gifted an individual challenge match of $75,000 designed to shore up the $250,000 Founder's Circle Campaign goal and support TET's capital endowment. "Becky and I are pleased to extend our support of TET and its artistic endeavors, which enrich the cultural tapestry of Houston," said Ralph S. O'Connor. The Founder's Circle Campaign funds are designated to sustain TET's operating funds and to elevate its artistic capabilities. The O'Connor matching funds are designated for TET's endowment fund.

 

In addition to the O'Connor's leadership, Audrey and the Reverend William A. Lawson, and Michelle and Reggie Hedgebeth served as the other Honorary Co-Chair couples who united to head the successful campaign. The three families served as an enthusiastic team committed to reaching the campaign goal by giving personally and enlisting their friends, families and acquaintances in the effort. TET Board Members Brenda Peters-Chase and Micheal Helm served as the Campaign Chairs who guided the effort. TET Founder's Circle represents a diverse group of existing and new investors committed to ensuring that the theatre continues serving as Houston's premier center for African American artistic expression. For additional information, visit: www.ensemblehouston.com/founders or call 713-520-0055.

 


(R-L) Countee Cullen played by Mirron E. Willis and Yolande Du Bois played by Michelle Elaine.  An American poet who was a leading figure in the Harlem Renaissance Countee Cullen (who was rumored to be bisexual) asks Yolande Du Bois for her hand in marriage.  Yolande is the daughter of  W. E. B. Du Bois, legendary civil rights activist leader, author, editor and co-founder of the NAACP.  KNOCK ME A KISS is now showing through February 24, 2013 at the Ensemble Theatre located at 3535 Main Street, Houston Texas 77002 USA.  For more information, click on www.EnsembleHouston.com

 

About 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. TET is the oldest and largest professional African American theatre in the Southwest with a $1.8 million operating budget. Located in the heart of Houston, TET is one of the nation's largest African American theatres that owns and operates its facility with an in-house production team.

 

Under the artistic direction of Eileen Morris, TET produces award-winning main stage productions as a part of its annual season of six contemporary and classic works devoted to the portrayal of the African American experience. The plays are produced by local and national playwrights and artists. The theatre's Performing Arts Education program provides workshops, Artist-In-Residence programs, touring and in-theatre productions; and The Young Performers Program for youth ages 6 to 17, encompassing instruction in all disciplines of the theatre arts. TET productions are performed before an annual audience of more than 65,000.