The Ensemble Theatre Remembers NAACP Co-Founder Ida B. Wells During Women's History Month

HOUSTON, March 9, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre brings to life the story of civil rights pioneer Ida B. Wells in its production of Constant Star, opening March 19, 2009, 7:30pm.

Constant Star was written by Emmy Nominated director and playwright Tazewell Thompson and will be directed by 37-year theatre veteran Ron Jones in collaboration with Lone Star College-Cy Fair.

"I was drawn to the play because of its enormously intriguing story and the eloquent manner in which that story is told," said Jones. "Tazewell Thompson has captured the spirit of this remarkable woman through a retelling of her fascinating life replete with the expressive dialogue for which she was famous, traditional music, and dance."

This powerful bio-drama is a bold look at the life of civil rights pioneer, suffragette and outspoken activist Ida B. Wells, a passionate, fiery champion of equality for women and black Americans. The daughter of freed slaves, Wells was a newspaper editor and publisher, co-founder of the NAACP, mother, wife, and the single most powerful leader in the anti-lynching campaign in America. Her outspoken nature, tenacious spirit and refusal to assimilate are portrayed in the life of this often overlooked African American leader in this production interspersed with classic Negro spirituals.

"Constant Star makes a timely production for our season with the NAACP celebrating its centennial this year and March as Women's History Month," said Eileen J. Morris, Ensemble Artistic Director.

 Previews: Saturday, March 14: 8:00p.m.; Sunday, March 15: 3:00p.m.;
 Wednesday, March 18: 7:30p.m.
 Show Run: March 19 - April 12, 2009
 Performances: Thursdays:  7:30 p.m.; Fridays: 8:00 p.m.;
               Saturdays:  2:00p.m. and 8:00p.m.; Sundays: 3:00p.m.

       ****Opening Night is Thursday, March 19, 2009 at 7:30p.m.;
                           Reception at 6:30p.m.***
       For subscription information, ticket sales or groups sales,
              call the box office at (713) 520-0055

Ron Jones began acting at the University of Houston and has performed in over 100 and has directed over 120 plays for a variety of organizations in the Greater Houston Area. He is currently the drama professor and director of theatre at Lone Star College-Cy Fair where four special performances of Constant Star will be staged April 16-19, 2009.

Featured Actors Include: Cynthia Brown, Jo Anne Davis-Jones, Shaunyce Omar, Roenia Thompson, and Detria Ward.

The Ensemble Theatre's 2008-2009 Season is sponsored in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Texas Commission on the Arts. Continental 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. The theatre is known as the only professional theatre in its region dedicated to the production of works portraying the African-American experience. In addition to being the oldest and largest professional African-American theatre in the Southwest, it also holds the distinction of being one of the nation's largest African-American theatres that owns and operates its facility with an in-house production team. 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 produces a main stage season of six contemporary and classic works devoted to the portrayal of the African American experience by local and national playwrights and artists. The theatre's Performing Arts Education program provides educational workshops, Artist-in-Residence experiences and live performances for students both off-site and at the theatre. Through its varied programs, The Ensemble Theatre benefits an audience and artistic constituency of approximately 65,000 people annually.

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