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  Media Release
CONTACT:  Robert Ross
  March 2, 2015
(713) 807-4306/ 713-520-0055
  For Immediate Release

The Ensemble Theatre Kicks off Regional Premiere “What I Learned in Paris”

A Romantic Comedy by Best-Selling Author Pearl Cleage

HOUSTON (March  2, 2015) –- The Ensemble Theatre kicks off its spring romantic comedy, What I Learned in Paris, by best-selling novelist and author Pearl Cleage and directed by Ensemble Artistic Director Eileen J. Morris, with Opening Night and Media Reception, Thursday, March 19, 2015, 6:30 p.m.

“This is a play I’ve wanted to write for a long time,” says Cleage.
Old loves rekindle and new love ignites in this funny and delightfully urban love story. Set against the colorful and passionate times of the 1970’s this sparkling new romantic comedy takes audiences back to when mini-skirts and bell bottoms rocked to the tune of Stevie Wonder’s 1973 hit, “Livin’ for the City; women’s liberation raised the conscience of the nation; and Atlanta made history by electing Maynard Jackson as its first Black Mayor.

Cleage was a campaign volunteer for Maynard Jackson when she was a young woman, and worked as his press secretary for three years.

“Many of us who joined the mayor’s staff were so young, the more seasoned bureaucrats called us “The Children’s Crusade,” but we didn’t care, says Cleage. “As J.P. Madison says, we were determined to “meet the demands of history,” and we did, little realizing the toll our commitment would take on our families and our love affairs.”

Featured cast members include: Yunina Barbour-Payne, making her debut on The Ensemble Theatre stage; Kendrick “KayB” Bown, just seen in Fly; Cynthia Brown Garcia, who was in the Ensemble’s premiere of the Thomas Meloncon play Christmas with Great Aunt; Detria Ward, who won the 2013 Houston Press Best Actress for her performance in The Ensemble’s production of Pearl Cleage’s The Nacirema Society; and Mirron Willis, who most recently performed as Malcolm X in The Meeting.

“I’m excited about directing this funny and fantastically relevant show as we move into the warm and loving springtime, and celebrate National Women’s History Month,” says Morris. “Our audiences truly enjoyed our presentation of her play The Nacirema Society so much we had to explore opportunities to do more of her work.”

Previews: March 14, 15, and 18        Show Runs: March 19 – April 12, 2015

Performance Days and Times: Thursdays: 7:30 p.m; Fridays: 8:00 p.m; Saturdays: 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m; and Sundays: 3:00 p.m.

Tickets Available Online:    
For Information and Group Rates Call: 713-520-0055

Ticket Prices: $23 - $44

Opening Night and Media Reception, Thursday, March 19, 2015, 7:30 p.m.

The Ensemble Theatre's 2014-2015 Season is sponsored in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance, Texas Commission on the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Arts. United Airlines is the official airline sponsor for The Ensemble Theatre. What I Learned in Paris is generously underwritten by Chevron.

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-eight years later, the theatre has evolved from a small touring company to 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.