Celebrated performing arts center since 1976 highlighting African-American theater & outreach.
Influenced by the African American Theatre Movement of the 1960s and 70s, George Hawkins founded a black theatre company in 1976 in Houston, Texas. He observed that professional roles were few and far between for black actors, and his frustration led him to create his own company, then known as The Black Ensemble Company. Hawkins’ goal was to create a theatre that would provide diverse roles for black artists.
The programs and operations of The Ensemble Theatre benefit a multicultural audience that is diverse in age, income, ethnicity, and culture. The Ensemble Theatre produces a Mainstage Season of contemporary and classical works devoted to the portrayal of the African American experience by local and national playwrights and artists.
The Ensemble 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. Also, the Young Performers Program offers intensive summer training for youth ages 6 to 17 encompassing instruction in all disciplines of the theatre arts.
Through its varied programs, The Ensemble Theatre benefits an audience and artistic constituency of approximately 65,000 people annually.
The Ensemble Theatre has surpassed the vision of its founder and continues to expand and create innovative programs to bring African American theatre to myriad of audiences, and is truly one of Houston’s finest historical cultural institutions.