The Ensemble Theatre celebrates its patrons and volunteers as The Heart of the Theatre with actor Robert Townsend in his one-man show, Living the Shuffle, Monday, February 20, 2017, 7:30 p.m. at 3535 Main St. Houston, TX 77002.

Every year, The Ensemble hosts its annual Heart of the Theatre event, celebrating its subscribers, patrons, volunteers, and sponsors as the heart of the theatre’s programming support.

“This year’s 40th Anniversary season is full of unexpected surprises,” says Artistic Director Eileen J. Morris. “Robert Townsend was one of our former gala honorees and crowd favorite, and we are so happy to welcome him back.”

Living the Shuffle written by and starring Robert Townsend
Rated: R for Language

Living the Shuffle is the amazing journey of actor, writer, director, and filmmaker, Robert Townsend. Townsend, a natural born storyteller, takes you on a show biz rollercoaster ride of ups and downs from the dangerous streets of Chicago, to performing Julius Caesar at a pimp convention in New York City. He also takes you behind the scenes of giving birth to his first film “Hollywood Shuffle” done with a miracle and a credit card. Townsend gives you a front row seat sharing life lessons he has learned along the way.

This work in progress of Townsend’s one-man show returns Townsend to his roots in the theater where he showcases his uncanny ability to do impressions and perform a cast of characters like you’ve never seen before. This edgy, raw and funny show will inspire and give hope to the dreamer in anyone.

The Ensemble Theatre’s 2016-2017 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 to enlighten, entertain, and enrich a diverse community. Forty 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 theaters 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 theaters 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 myriad audiences.

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