Ensemble Theatre Act One Young Professionals Kick Off 8th Annual Poetry Showcase

Ensemble Theatre Act One Young Professionals Kick Off 8th Annual Poetry Showcase

The Ensemble Theatre's Act One Young Professionals celebrate National Poetry Month with their 8th Annual Poetry Event entitled: Drama-try[Tree]: A DRAMAtic Night of PoeTRY, Saturday, April 20, 2019, 7:00 p.m. in the theatre's Performance Centre space.

Drama-try: A DRAMAtic Night of PoeTRY is a poetry showcase that features award winning and emerging Houston Area poets and celebrates April as National Poetry Month. Their individual styles of performance poetry will allow audiences to experience the dramatics of spoken word art. This year's lineup is featuring the Houston area poetry slam team "Gawd Slam," and emceed by Ensemble Theatre actor and Houston area poet JoeP.

This poetry showcase was conceived and developed by The Ensemble Theatre Act One Young Professionals, an auxiliary group of young professionals and artists dedicated to introducing younger audiences to The Ensemble and cultivating the next generation of arts supporters. They also use the event to provide scholarship support for a youth age 6-17 to participate in the theatre's Young Performers (performing arts education) Program. Act One is led by a steering committee who plans all activities throughout the season including a series of pre-show mixers, as well as, volunteer and fundraising opportunities.

"We are excited to feature our first poetry slam team and look forward to another great poetry showcase," says Mark Martin, Steering Committee Chair for Act One Young Professionals. "It's a great experience to see how this event is bridging a gap to introduce younger audiences to The Ensemble Theatre, and provide scholarships to cultivate the artistic interests of youth."

Drama-try: A DRAMAtic Night of PoeTRY

Saturday, April 20, 2019, 7:00PM

The Ensemble Theatre - Performance Centre
3535 Main Street, Houston, TX 77002 (Fannin and Berry Street Entrance)

Tickets Available Online: http://EnsembleHouston.com/ActOne/index.html

Box Office: 713-520-0055

Tickets: $15 in advance, $20 at the door

$10 in advance for Act One Season Ticket Subscribers

Featured Gawd Slam poetry slam team members include: BlackBluez (Vincent Johnson); Kodak (Joshua Kaskin); Rain (Sharon Young); and Self the Poet (Andre Burrell).


JoeP (Joseph Palmore) Joe P has lived with the creative purpose of exploring and establishing himself as an Actor, Poet, Playwright, Director and Educator in Houston. For over 13 years, he has been dedicated to continually developing his craft, as well as helping others to train and become disciplined in the arts. Joe P has performed with such theatres as A.D. Players, The Alley Theatre, Stages Repertory Theatre, The Ensemble Theatre, 4th Wall Theatre Co, and at the National Black Theatre Festival. He has also partnered with Young Audiences of Houston, LINKS, MPAC Mack Performing Arts Collective, and The World Youth Foundation, impacting the lives of youth and creating platforms for adult artists. Under his own umbrella, Joe P founded ACTing Up Studios (www.actingupstudios.com) to combine poetic and theatrical influences - helping students of the art to begin to shape themselves into true performance artists and life leaders. For his valiant efforts, Joe was awarded the "Leadership in Action" Congressional Recognition award for his services to youth. Gifted also with the spoken word, he has featured on numerous stages across the United States, including a Season 4 performance on the nationally televised Lexus Verses and Flow on TV One

BlackBluez (Vincent Johnson) is a writer, poet, and actor who has been performing poetry in Houston since 2002. He was introduced to slam poetry competitions in 2007. After writing a book "A Bluez Joint" and recording an album "Adventures In Negro History", he became the primary director and stage manager for JalaWorld Productions. He began coaching critically acclaimed, award-winning slam teams in 2016. In 2017 he became a Slam Poetry Teaching Artist for The Alley Theatre. BlackBluez co-created Gawd Slam!, the newest slam team from Houston, TX who remains undefeated locally in 2018. His goal is to continue to grow the Slam community in Houston.

Rain (Sharon Young) is no stranger to receiving honors but some of her most notable accolades include the 2016 Eye on Excellence Award, the Lone Star State Emmys, and "Artist of the Month" in Dialogue Magazine. Nothing short of amazing, this multi-genre artist wrote a poem for KHOU Channel 11 Houston which aired during the Super Bowl and the Grammy's. Rain is the voice and writer of the Hurricane Harvey relief commercial on channel 11 and has appeared in KTRK 13 News commercials as well.

Kodak (Joshua Kaskin) is an elite nationally ranked poet who began writing spoken word at the age of 17 while attending Eisenhower High School. At 21 Kodak continued his artistry when joining the Houston Poetry SLAM Team. He has traveled and performed with a list of other Houston area poets including: SELF the POET, Black Bluez, Rain The Poet, Se7en, Joe P, and others. He has been entertaining and writing for five years, is also an actor, signer, and emcee.

Self the Poet (Andre Burrell) is a nationally acclaimed poet from Houston. He has travelled the U.S. with poetry slam teams while completing his studies at Texas Southern University. His National Poetry Slam team was ranked among the top 25 in the nation. He has worked collaboratively with other Houston area poets and continues to perfect his craft while exploring his other talents as a rap artist and songwriter.

Act One was created to unite The Ensemble Theatre's growing community of young artists and professionals with an increasing interest in how they can contribute to sustaining the institution. Act One members are recognized as the next generation of leaders who will support the theatre's annual membership campaign, as well as, providing volunteer and fundraising support.

Host Committee Members include: Tonisha Alexander, Tenesia Hudspeth-Babalola, Tiffany Bourgeois, Andrea Browne, Mark Martin, Justin Mason, Carl McGowan, Henry Mosley, Robert Ross, Tiffany Thomas, and Pamela Ulmer.

The Ensemble Theatre's 2017-2018 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.

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.

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