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Photo Release -- The Ensemble Theatre Presents Knock Me a Kiss by Charles Smith

Knock Me a Kiss
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HOUSTON, Jan. 14, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre presents Knock Me a Kiss, by award winning playwright, Charles Smith and directed by visiting artist Chuck Smith with an Opening Night and Media reception, Thursday, January 31, 2013, 6:30 PM.

The Ensemble Theatre - Houston cast members for "Knock Me a Kiss" by Charles Smith: Detria Ward, Michelle Harper, Wayne DeHart, and Mirron Willis.


A photo accompanying this release is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=16492

"This story shows a different perspective than what we are used to seeing against the backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance," says Eileen J. Morris, Ensemble Theatre Artistic Director. "Many of us know of the defiance and artistic uprising of social conscience during that period, but throw in a bit of romanticism and the plot thickens with the soul stirring richness of life."

Knock Me a Kiss takes place during the 1920s in Harlem. The story follows Yolonda DuBois, a woman torn between two lovers. One is a fast-living musician, Jimmy Lunceford, the other a poet, Countee Cullen, sanctioned by her father, activist W.E.B. DuBois. This fictional account is inspired by the actual events surrounding the 1928 marriage of W.E.B. Du Bois' daughter Yolande to one of Harlem's great poets, Countee Cullen. The marriage marked the height of the Harlem Renaissance and was viewed as the perfect union of Negro talent and beauty. It united the daughter of America's foremost black intellectual, co-founder of the NAACP and publisher of Crisis Magazine, with a poet whose work was considered to be one of the flagships for the New Negro movement. At what personal cost does a leader pay to make life better for so many others when he is blind to those living in his own home?

Featured cast members include: Michelle Harper, Jason E. Carmichael, Detria Ward, Wayne DeHart, Mirron Willis, and An'tick Von Morphxing.

****Opening Night and Media Reception is Thursday, January 31, 2013 at 6:30 p.m.****

Previews: January 26, 27, and 30, 2013 Show Runs: January 31 – February 24, 2013
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: $12 -- $35

Charles Smith is an award-winning playwright and a founding member of the Playwrights Ensemble at the Tony Award-winning Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago. He is an alumni playwright of the Tony Award-winning New Dramatists in New York, and Head of the Professional Playwriting Program at Ohio University. Many of his plays use various historical contexts to explore contemporary issues of race, identity, and politics in America.

Chuck Smith is the Goodman Theatre's Resident Director and an associate producer of Legacy Productions, a Chicago-based touring company. He has an extensive body of directing credits, including the New York premier of Knock Me a Kiss.

He is a 2003 inductee into the Chicago State University Gwendolyn Brooks Center's Literary Hall of Fame and a 2001 Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year. He is the proud recipient of the 1982 Paul Robeson Award and the 1997 Award of Merit presented by the Black Theater Alliance of Chicago. He is currently a board member of the African American Arts Alliance of Chicago.

The Ensemble Theatre's 2012-2013 Season is sponsored in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Texas Commission on the Arts. United Airlines is the exclusive airline sponsor for The Ensemble Theatre. This performance is generously supported 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-six 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 myriad audiences.

CONTACT: Robert Ross (713) 807-4306 rross@ensemblehouston.com

Source:The Ensemble Theatre