"Mahalia" by Celeste Bedford Walker, at the Ensemble Theatre in 2017. (Photo courtesy of Ensemble Theatre)

The Ensemble Theatre Announces 2018-19 Season

The season will feature five regional premieres and a musical about the life of Josephine Baker.

HOUSTON: The Ensemble Theatre has announced the theatre’s 2018-19 season, which will include five regional premieres, a holiday production, and various comedies, dramas, and musicals.

“This season highlights characters going through a process of self-reflection,” said artistic director Eileen J. Morris in a statement. “Each story introduces us to people in situations that enlighten, guide, and even force their evolution towards a higher consciousness of identity.”

The season will open with the regional premiere of ‘da Kink In My Hair (Sept. 15-Oct. 14), by Trey Anthony, a comedic play with music about eight black women, many of whom are immigrants to North America from the Caribbean, and the West Indian hair stylist who listens to their stories.

Next will be Christmas is Comin’ Uptown (Nov. 10-30), by Phillip Rose and Peter Udell, a jazzy musical twist on A Christmas Carol in which Scrooge is a Harlem slumlord on the verge of foreclosing a tenement house and church before an “old friend” and ghosts make him reconsider.

Following will be the drama Too Heavy for Your Pocket (Jan. 19-Feb. 24, 2019), by Jiréh Breon Holder, about the lives of two young couples in rural Tennessee at the height of the Civil Rights Movement and the personal costs of public struggles.

Next will be Freeda Peoples (March 16-April 14, 2019), by Joyce Sylvester, a play that tells the stories of deacons, trustees, and the new pastor in a church, about how no one is who they appear to be.

Following will be Pipeline (May 4-June 2, 2019), by Dominique Morisseau, a drama about an inner-city public high school teacher whose son is caught up in a controversy that may result in expulsion from his upstate private school.

The season will conclude with the musical Josephine Tonight (June 22-July 28, 2019), with a book and lyrics by Sherman Yellen and music by Wally Harper, about the life of legendary 20th century performer Josephine Baker and her relationship with her mother.

The Ensemble Theatre is the oldest and largest professional African-American theatre in the Southwest, founded in Houston in 1976, which produces works portraying the African-American experience and is dedicated towards entertaining, educating, and enriching a diverse community.