Houston’s Ensemble Theatre makes history!

New this week: an on-line guide to the Ensemble Theatre records – now open for research!


In November of 1976, Houstonian George Hawkins founded The Black Ensemble Company, Houston’s first African American professional theater, to provide a venue for Houston’s talented Black actors, writers and artists to perform. When his company moved into its first home at 1010 Tuam Street in Houston, Hawkins dropped the word Black from the name, becoming simply The Ensemble.

In 1985 the group rented 3535 Main Street, Houston, and converted it into a theater. This venue became the largest African American theater in the United States and was the site of many “firsts” in the history of African American professional theater.In 2004, the Ensemble Theatre reached two milestones; becoming a designated stop on the new Houston Metrorail system, and the fulfillment of the mortgage on the building, celebrated by a Mortagage Burning Ceremony on January 1, 2004.

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