The Ensemble Theatre Presents A Regional Premiere Of "The Story"
OPENING: Thursday, March 10, 2005*7:30 pm
HOUSTON, March 1, 2005 -- With recent exposure about journalistic scandals both involving a national newspaper as well as a major broadcast network, the timeliness of The Ensemble Theatre's production of "The Story" is quite appropriate. The playwright is Tracey Scott Wilson, the recipient of numerous awards including most recently the 2004 Kesselring "Prize for Playwrighting" for "The Story". Wilson's motivation for this drama was based on the travails of Washington Post journalist, Janet Cooke, whose meteoric career nose-dived when she was exposed for concocting her Pulitzer Prize winning story about an 8 year-old heroin addict in 1980. It was also later revealed that Cooke, a black reporter, had also fabricated much of her resume in order to get a job at The Post. Cooke's story is the inspiration for this gripping stage play which was written in 2002, before the recent Jayson Blair (New York Times) and Dan Rather (CBS Network) scandals ever came to light. Yet Wilson's art does imitate life. The play won critical acclaim last year in New York and was originally presented as a co-production of the Public Theatre in New York and Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Connecticut.
Wilson confesses, "My secret identity is that of a crusading, muck-raking journalist... I think it's a noble profession. It's my fantasy job. Political plays have always interested me....interactions of class and race and sex". The passions for journalism and politics combine to create this fascinating drama of "The Story".
Preview dates are Saturday, March 5th @ 8:00pm; Sunday, March 6th @ 3:00pm, and Wednesday, March 9th at 7:30 pm. Opening night is Thursday, March 10th at 7:30 pm with a reception at 6:00 pm followed by the performance at The Ensemble Theatre located at 3535 Main St. "The Story" production is generously supported by FOX 26 KRIV, UPN 20 KTXH, Houston Defender Newspaper, Houston Style Magazine, Continental Airlines, KTSU-FM "The Choice Radio", Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau, and The Cultural Arts Council of Houston. It is also rated PG-13 for some language.
The Director for the production is The Ensemble Theatre's Producing Artistic Director, Marsha Jackson-Randolph. She has extensive credits in professional theatre including work as a director, published playwright, actor, co-founder of a cultural institution and an arts advocate. Jackson-Randolph has garnered impressive acting credits abroad and nationally, including her Broadway debut in 1988 acting in the play Checkmates. Her "Ensemble" plays include Black Nativity, Having Our Say, Fences and From the Mississippi Delta. She has been guest director for several theatres and showcases nationally as well.
The production will also showcase many well-known local actors including: Deborah Oliver Artis, Justin Doran, Lauren Hance, J. D. Hawkins, Rachel Hemphill-Dickson, Tammy Marshall Taylor, Joyce Murray, Evette L.A.D.Y. Mason and Jia Taylor.
"THE STORY" by TRACEY SCOTT WILSON March 10th - April 10th Performance Times Previews: Saturday, March 5th 8:00 pm Sunday, March 6th 3:00 pm Wednesday, March 9th 7:30 pm Thursdays 7:30 pm Fridays 8:00pm Saturdays 2:00 pm Matinee & 8:00 pm Sundays 3:00 pm Matinee
For ticket information and groups sales, call the Box Office at (713) 520-0055, ext. 4300.
The Ensemble Theatre, a 501 (c)(3), was founded in 1976 upon the foundation of the vision and talent of the late George Hawkins, founding Artistic Director, and has brought several generations of African Americans and other theatre patrons into the performance art form. The mission of The Ensemble Theatre is to preserve African American artistic expression, enlighten, entertain and enrich a diverse community. It holds the distinction as the nation's largest African American theatre that owns and operates it own facility. The $4.5 million facility includes the George Hawkins main stage with seating for 200 patrons; the Audrey Lawson Arena seating for 125; and a Performance Centre accommodating up to 500 people. In addition, the Ensemble's Tour Education Program provides performances for young audiences including schools, community outreach and training for young artists through The Young Performers Program.
CONTACT: Ensemble Theatre Linda K. Brown (713) 737-8321 Janette Cosley (713) 520-0055