Spot On: Black Women Creators

ON ZOOM • RSVP Required

'Bov Water playwright Celeste Jennings and director abigail jean-baptiste join The Ensemble Theatre's Artistic Director Eileen J. Morris and actor/playwright Crystal Rae in a conversation about new plays by Black women creators.

'Bov Water


Four generations of Black women breathe and bathe in a past that’s both intentionally and accidentally forgotten. Challenging and discovering their own narratives from the Civil War to the 1960s to modern-day America, these strong and inquisitive souls wrestle to unearth a family’s past and build resilience for the future.

Heart of the Theatre 2023

February 6, 2023

The Music of Nat King Cole and Natalie Cole

Young Performers Program


Paradise Blue

JAN 26 - FEB 26, 2023

Blue, a gifted trumpeter, contemplates selling his once-vibrant jazz club in Detroit’s Blackbottom neighborhood to shake free the demons of the past and better his life. But where does that leave his devoted Pumpkin, who has dreams of her own? And what does it mean for the club’s resident bebop band? When a mysterious woman with a walk that drives men mad comes to town with her own plans, everyone’s world is turned upside down. This dynamic and musically-infused drama shines light on the challenges of building a better future for generations to come.


MAR 23 - APR 16, 2023

Pulitzer Prize winner and Tony Award nominee Lynn Nottage’s acclaimed comedy centers around a truck stop sandwich shop which offers its formerly incarcerated kitchen staff a chance for redemption. Even as the shop’s callous owner, Clyde, tries to keep them under her thumb, the staff members are given a purpose and permission to dream by their shared quest to create the perfect sandwich.

Brother Toad

MAY 11 - JUN 4, 2023

Eighteen-year-old black high school student Marques has “narrowly survived” being shot by a white man while sitting in a car with a friend, who was killed. His uncle Randall announces an upcoming local march for safety from gun violence. The family’s reluctance to attend seems to stem from other, unclear concerns, but it’s that fear, in its many forms, that is a thread throughout this play.

Phenomenal Woman

JUN 29 - JUL 30, 2023

World-renowned poet, author and activist MAYA ANGELOU takes us on an epic journey through her astonishing life story. From the trauma that thrust her into mutism, to the awakening that inspired her to write “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” we will learn how this phenomenal woman developed one of the most celebrated voices of all time.

Welcome to
The Ensemble Theatre

We are honored to present this season of plays which adds to the African American canon. Love & Southern D!scomfort tells the timeless story about how love and southern discomfort fuel dissension when the family matriarch passes. We ring in the holidays for the second time around with A Motown Christmas forging the ties of Motown music and holiday traditions. Tony Award winner Dominique Morrisseau’s play, Paradise Blue, takes us on a jazzy journey where gentrification and tunes collide building a better future for generations to come. Clyde’s is a comedy by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Lynn Nottage who brings together food creations that inform our life’s purpose and dreams. Brother Toad speaks to equity, diversity, and inclusion and how our everyday path is stilted by racism. Phenomenal Woman closes out our season as a rolling world premiere portraying the essence of prolific playwright and activist, Maya Angelou. This play’s significance is grounded in the collaborative efforts between North Carolina Black Repertory Theatre in Winston Salem, North Carolina and The Ensemble Theatre.

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. Decades later, the theatre has evolved from a touring company operating from the trunk of Mr. Hawkins’ car to being one of Houston’s finest historical cultural institutions. The Ensemble is one of the only professional theatres in the region dedicated to the production of works portraying the African American experience...