Alley Theatre Premieres New Play for Young Audiences, I, Barbara Jordan Mar. 7-8

Alley Theatre's new touring show I, Barbara Jordan celebrates the remarkable life and career of the eminent Texas orator, legislator, and teacher. Tracing Barbara Jordan's journey from her childhood in Houston's Fifth Ward neighborhood through her election to the United State Congress, I, Barbara Jordan introduces students to a legendary Texas politician who was a model for the power of perseverance.

I, Barbara Jordan, by Celeste Bedford-Walker and Directed by Eileen J. Morris, was commissioned by the Alley Theatre. Recommended for ages 10 and up.

The cast of I, Barbara Jordan includes Dorcas Sowunmi as Barbara Jordan, Byron Jones as Ben Jordan and Byron Jacquet as John Ed Patton.

Eileen J. Morris is the Artistic Director of Houston's Ensemble Theatre. She has previously appeared at the Alley Theatre as an actress in Joe Turner's Come and Gone, and A Christmas Carol. She worked closely with the founder of The Ensemble Theatre, George W. Hawkins, from 1982 until his death in 1990. She has served on panels with the Cultural Arts Council of Houston, Harris County; Pennsylvania Council on the Arts; the Heinz Foundation; the Multi-Cultural Arts Council of Pittsburgh; Pittsburgh Foundation High School Arts Scholarship Committee; Pro Arts; the National Endowment for the Arts, and Theatre Communications Group. She has developed collaborations with the August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Lone Star Community College; and the Houston Independent School District. As artistic director, she has produced over 72 productions, which include four world premieres and 50 regional premieres.

Celeste Bedford Walker is an award-winning playwright whose works have been performed in major venues across the country. She is the recipient of the NAACP Image Award for positive portrayal of African-Americans in the media; New York City's Audelco Award for best play; an honoree in The Heart of Theatre Salute to Texas Playwrights, as well as being selected as a finalist in the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for outstanding work by a female playwright in the English speaking theater. She is the only Texan ever to be recognized in this international award. Walker has received numerous commissions, NEA, NEH, and Cultural Arts grants to write dramas, comedies, musicals, and children's shows for theaters, schools, museums, and organizations. A few of her hit plays include, Distant Voices, Camp Logan, Once in a Wife Time, and Over Forty. Some of her children's shows, performed before thousands of students over the years includes, Freedom Train, The African Talking Drum, Hip Hoppin' the Dream, Where My Girls At? and numerous others. Many of Walker's plays dramatize events of Texas history as well as the lives of famous Texans.

Alley Shows for Kids (ASK) provides curriculum-relevant educational entertainment to students in elementary through high school. Exploring such varied topics as pioneering Texas politicians and the celebration of Día de los Muertos, the Alley's touring plays are performed by actors of the highest caliber to introduce students to the world of theatre while increasing their knowledge of diverse subject matter. The Alley Theatre previously performed the touring show Barbara Jordan: Texas Treasure. Barbara Jordan: Texas Treasure celebrated The Life of legendary Texas Congresswoman and traced Barbara Jordan's life from early childhood through her election in 1966 to the Texas State Senate.

The Alley Theatre is supported by the 2008-2009 season sponsor Continental Airlines, the official airline of Alley Theatre.

Saturday, March 7: 11:00 AM & 2:00 PM
Sunday, March 8: 2:00 PM
Neuhaus Stage
General admission tickets: $5

To purchase tickets contact the Alley Theatre Box Office at 713.220.5700.
Exploring the Alley, an Afternoon of Family, Fun and Theatre: See a performance of I, Barbara Jordan, tour the Alley's classroom space and meet some of the spring and summer Young Performers Studio (YPS) teachers. Hands on activities for the kids, balloons and refreshments will be available. Starting at noon life size puppets, face painting and theatre games specifically designed for students ages 10 and up will be the focus of this fun filled day. Registrations will also be accepted for spring and summer YPS classes.


11:00 PM - 12:00 PM: I, Barbara Jordan performance on the Neuhaus Stage

12:00 PM - 2:00 PM: Refreshments and activities in Neuhaus lobby

12:45 PM - 1:30 PM: Theatre Games on the Neuhaus Stage

2:00 PM - 3:00 PM: I, Barbara Jordan performance on the Neuhaus Stage

I, Barbara Jordan is available to be performed at schools and community-based organizations Monday through Friday, 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, February 9 - March 5, 2009. The play costs $300 per performance or $500 for two back-to-back performances. To book a performance, please contact the Education and Community Engagement Department at or call 713.315.5439.


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