The Ensemble Theatre Partners With SEARCH Homeless Services for Holiday Food Drive

The Second Installment of Theatre Speaks: A Discussion and Civic Engagement Series

HOUSTON, Oct. 20, 2009 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre hosts a holiday food drive November 1-December 27, 2009 as part of its Theatre Speaks: A Discussion and Civic Engagement Series.

"This season we continue to show the connection between theatre and the community," says Eileen J. Morris, The Ensemble Theatre Artistic Director. "We believe theatre not only delivers meaningful messages but can also be used as a call to action."

Donations may be brought to the theatre anytime during normal business hours Monday - Friday, 9:00AM - 6:00PM or before performances of The Ensemble's holiday production of "Christmas with Great Aunt." Everyone who brings donated items of food and personal hygiene items will be signed up for door prizes like Exxon Mobil gas cards and gift certificates to future performances at The Ensemble Theatre.

"We are proud to join with one of our neighbors willing to help us raise awareness of homelessness in the Houston area," says Thao Costis, President and CEO of SEARCH. "The current state of the economy has unfortunately resulted in many newly homeless families in need of support."

Service of Emergency Aid Resource Center for the Homeless/ SEARCH has been offering support programs to the Houston community for 20 years. SEARCH Homeless Services serves thousands of men, women and children throughout the city of Houston and Harris County by providing the resources and services needed to get off the streets, into jobs and safe, stable housing. SEARCH programs offer everything from basic essentials like food, clothing, and healthcare, to child care, education and employment services.

"SEARCH is one of several of our neighbors in the Midtown area that provides assistance to the homeless," says Morris. "We hope our theatre patrons, residences and businesses in our immediate community, and the greater Houston area will be mindful of those in need during the holiday season."

For a list of items to donate please visit:

To contact The Ensemble Theatre: (713) 520-0055 or visit:

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 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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