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Ensemble Theatre Gets a Rich Laugh in 35th Anniversary Season Kick-Off

The Ensemble Theatre celebrates the first performance of its 35th Anniversary Season, Lotto:
Experience the Dream, a comedy by Cliff Roquemore, with Opening Night and Media Reception, Thursday, September 29, 2011, 6:30 p.m.

Mr. Earl Fields Jr. a middle-aged water department worker in Los Angeles wins $99 million in the lottery with numbers that came to his sister in a dream. Craziness ensues as he discovers just how quickly his new found wealth not only changes him, but his family and friends, too. Luckily, his wife remains level headed and ultimately saves them from their own follies.

"I am having a ball directing this production," says Eileen J. Morris, Ensemble Artistic Director. "I hope audiences will experience joy and laughter in watching some of our dreams unfold in Roquemore's craftily written comedy."

Featured cast members include: Jason Carmichael, Detria Ward, Shirley Whitmore, Joseph Palmore, Rolondo Roy, Michelle Harper, Robert Marshall, Henry Edwards, BroDeRick Jones, and Brian Jones.

Previews: September 24, 25, and 28

Show Runs: September 29 -- October 23, 2011

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 Call: 713-520-0055

The late Cliff Roquemore was an accomplished writer, producer, and director who made contributions in film, television, and stage.

His most successful stage play to date is, LOTTO -- Experience The Dream. LOTTO as it is most commonly referenced, ran successfully off-Broadway for two (2) years to capacity crowds and rave reviews at the Billie Holiday Theatre of Brooklyn, the historic Heckscher Theater, and the Union Square Theatre located in the village of Mid-Town Manhattan. The play was adapted by his son, Byran Roquemore.

Cliff wrote, produced and directed over two hundred (200) stage plays during his career. Honey, Ceremonies In Dark Old Men, Visions in Black, Daddy Goodness, the award winning Selma, Shaka Zulu, Invasion of Addis Ababa, Showgirls, Swann, The Nifty Fifties, and Color Me Dorothy: The
Dorothy Dandridge Story, just to name a few.

In 1989, he received two (2) NAACP Image Awards for Best Writer and Best Director for the hit musical, The Gospel Truth which won a total of seven (7) awards. Cliff was also honored to direct the one and only Eartha Kitt in her one-woman show performed at Nick Stewart's historical Ebony Showcase Theatre in Los Angeles.

He was also nominated for an Emmy Award for writing and staging the Christian Broadcasting network's (CBN) musical production of "Family Reunion."

His work as a producer and director during the 1970's included cult the classic, "The Human Tornado" starring the legendary Rudy Ray Moore, also known as "Dolemite." Cliff moved on to write and direct several other films with "Dolemite" such as "Petey Wheatstraw -- The Devil's Son-In-Law" and "Rudy Ray Moore -- Live in Concert."

His final contribution to the show business industry was as Writer and Light Designer for the smash-hit musical, "Dancin' In The Streets -- The Motown Revue" by William "Mickey" Stevenson and Motown legend Smokey Robinson.

The Ensemble Theatre's 2011-2012 Season is sponsored in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts. United Airlines is the exclusive airline sponsor for The Ensemble Theatre. This production is generously underwritten by Spectra Energy.

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-five years 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 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 a myriad of audiences.

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