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The Ensemble Theatre Jumps Into the New Year with “Fetch Clay, Make Man”

HOUSTON, Jan. 03, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre jumps into the New Year with the regional premiere Fetch Clay, Make Man by Will Power and directed by Mirron Willis with Opening Night and Media Reception Thursday, January 25, 2018, 6:30p.m.

/EIN News/ -- “One might wonder what these two men could have had in common to build their seemingly unlikely friendship,” says Power. “Both were iconic, yet each man has literally or figuratively swung his own combination punches to survive in his era.”

Historical icons - Muhammad Ali & Stepin' Fetchit explore friendship at the heart of race relations in 1960s America. The play is set on the eve of the Cassius Clay―Sonny Liston rematch, and based on the friendship between the actor Stepin Fetchit and Cassius Clay―soon to become Muhammad Ali. Fetch Clay, Make Man explores how each handled a life in the public eye as black men in their respective eras―Hollywood in the 20s, where a black actor’s career depended on playing caricatures, and the mid-60s, after the assassination of Malcolm X.  With “incisive characterizations, crackling dialogue and generous doses of dark humor” (Hollywood Reporter).

Featured Cast members include: Derrick Brent II, Jason E. Carmichael, Renee’ Rivon, Henry Edwards Jr., and Trevor Cone.

Previews:  January 20, 21, and 24, 2018
Show Runs:  January 25 – February 25, 2018

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: www.EnsembleHouston.com    For Information Call: 713-520-0055

Ticket Prices: $23 - $50

Opening Night and Media Reception, January 25, 2018, 6:30 p.m.

Will Power is an award-winning playwright and performer. Plays include “Stagger Lee” (Dallas Theater Center), “Fetch Clay, Make Man”(New York Theater Workshop, Marin Theatre Company, Roundhouse Theatre, True Colors Theater), “Steel Hammer” with SITI Company (Humana Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music), “The Seven” (Lucille Lortel Award Best Musical, New York Theater Workshop, La Jolla Playhouse, Ten Thousand Things Theater Company), Five Fingers of Funk! (Children’s Theatre Company), Honey Bo and The Goldmine (La Jolla Playhouse) and two internationally acclaimed solo shows “The Gathering,” and “Flow.” Power’s numerous awards include a Doris Duke Artist Award, a United States Artist Prudential Fellowship, the TCG Peter Zeisler Memorial Award, a Jury Award for Best Theatre Performance at the HBO US Comedy Arts Festival, and the Trailblazer Award from The National Black Theater Network.  Power’s numerous film and television appearances include The Steven Colbert Report (Comedy Central), and Bill Moyers on Faith and Reason (PBS).

Mr. Power spent his early years as a key member in two critically acclaimed avant-garde music groups, Midnight Voices and the Omar Sosa Sextet.  With these groups Power recorded and toured extensively.  More recently, Mr. Power has traveled on multiple occasions to teach theatre across the globe.  He has held a number of artist fellowships and guest teaching positions at institutions such as CCNY, Princeton University, and the University of Massachusetts Amherst.  Will Power was a guest of the U.S. State Department on five separate occasions, traveling to South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Turkmenistan, and Kyrgyzstan. On these trips and others, Mr. Power taught community workshops in shantytowns, worked with poets in former regimes of the Soviet Union, and lectured at various libraries, grammar schools, and colleges.  Power is currently on the faculty at The Meadows School of the Arts/SMU, and the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Playwright in Residence with the Dallas Theatre Center.

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. Fetch Clay, Make Man is generously sponsored by Chevron.

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.

Contact:
Robert Ross 281-310-1648
rross@ensemblehouston.com

 
Janette Cosley, 713-807-4311
jcosley@ensemblehouston.com
 

Eileen J. Morris 412-726-6163
eileenjmorris@gmail.com

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