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  Media Release
CONTACT:  Robert Ross
  August 20, 2014 
(713) 807-4306/ 713-520-0055
  For Immediate Release

The Ensemble Theatre Celebrated its 2014 Giorgee Awards

Gala Honorees LeToya Luckett, Robert Townsend, and Hal Williams Join the Celebration

HOUSTON (August 20, 2014) – The Ensemble Theatre celebrated its 2014 Giorgee Awards as part of its Annual Celebrity Gala weekend, August 17, 2014. The Giorgee’s are the theatre’s version of the Tony Awards, held each year to recognize the top actors, directors, and designers from the previous season. Gala honorees LeToya Luckett, Robert Townsend, and Hal Williams remained in Houston an extra day to join the ongoing festivities at the theatre.


Subscription Drive Chairs Dee Coleman, Brenda E. Davis, Edwina Wilks


Gala celebrity honorees LeToya Luckett, who received the Rising Star Award; Robert Townsend, Director of the Year, accompanied by his daughter Skylar Townsend; and Hal Williams, Legacy Award recipient, joined in The Ensemble Theatre’s Giorgee Awards by surprising Ensemble artists and subscribers with the awards presentations. Category winners were:

    • Jason E. Carmichael, Best Leading Actor, as Martin Luther King Jr., The Meeting
    • Detria Ward, Best Leading Actress, as Elizabeth (Bess) Borney, The Old Settler
    • Jason E. Carmichael, Best Supporting Actor, as Oliver Moore, I Wish You Love
    • Samantha West, Best Supporting Actress, as  Lou Bessie Preston, The Old Settler
    • Eric Marsh, Best Lighting Design, The Old Settler
    • Reggie Ray, Best Costume Design, Djembe and the Forest of Christmas Forgotten           
    • Janelle Flanagan, Best Set Design, The Old Settler
    • Tracey Wheat, Best Stage Manager, The Meeting
    • Shirley Whitmore, Best Director, The Old Settler   
    • The Meeting, Best Production

The Ensemble Theatre also recognized Aba Gayle Wiley with the Volunteer of the Year Award. Theatre appreciation awards were presented to videographer Ted Irving, and to Penumbra Theatre Company.

Ensemble Theatre veteran artist and long-time supporter Errol Anthony Wilks and Ensemble Young Performers Program Rayia Goodman and John Hall were the event emcees.
Subscription Drive Co-Chair Brenda E. Davis spoke of the importance of supporting The Ensemble Theatre and its programs by sharing the story of her son and daughter growing up in the theatre’s young performer’s program. Her daughter Tanisha Lynn has since become a professional actress landing a variety of stage and television roles including a spot on the soap opera All My Children.

The celebration concluded with Robert Townsend grabbing laughs with a series of impersonations. His closing act dared everyone to dream as he portrayed an elderly man 50 years into future reminiscing about the good ole days at The Ensemble Theatre and admiring its continued growth, including Tony Award winners and other accolades.

Photo Credit:    Errol Wilks and Robert Ross
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. 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.

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; and the Young Performers Program offers intensive summer training for children ages 6 to 17 encompassing instruction in all disciplines of the theatre arts.