The Ensemble Theatre: Celebrating Forty Years
The Ensemble Theatre celebrates its 40th uninterrupted season as Houston’s premier African American performing arts institution with its annual celebrity black tie gala, The Ensemble Theatre: Celebrating Forty Years.
Honorary Chair Janiece Longoria will be joined by gala dinner co-chairs Paula McCann-Harris and John Rolfe in hosting this event as The Ensemble Theatre’s largest fundraising endeavor of the year.
This year’s awards-packed program includes eight honorees:
- Louis Gossett, Jr. - Lifetime Achievement Award. The Oscar-winning actor is being recognized for his body of work in stage, film, and television since the 1950s, including the 1961 original stage and film version of A Raisin in the Sun and the 1982 film An Officer and a Gentleman.
- Angela Robinson - Actress of the Year. The award-winning Broadway and television actress who has performed in the touring cast of The Color Purple with Fantasia, and currently most recognized for her character as the diabolical ice queen Veronica Herrington of Tyler Perry’s The Haves and Have Nots.
- Harry Lennix - Actor of the Year. Lennix is recognized for his ongoing television and film work including his highly noted early acting role in the Robert Townsend and Keenen Ivory Wayans film The Five Heartbeats, and most recently in the film The Man of Steel and the NBC drama The Black List.
- Anna Maria Horsford - President’s Award. The television and film actress is known for her beloved character Thelma Fry in the 1986-1991 television series Amen alongside Sherman Hemsley and Clifton Davis, and a list of accomplishments on and off Broadway in performances including For Colored Girls who have considered suicide..., the classic soap The Guiding Light, and the TV movie The Tap Dance Kid.
- C.J. Emmons - Rising Star. A former participant in The Ensemble Theatre Young Performers Program, Emmons has established his career in the television and music industry as a vocalist and highly sought after vocal coach who along with his cast of Dancing with the Stars received a 2015 Emmy Award nomination for Best Outstanding Reality show program.
- Houston First Corporation - Corporate Partner of the Year is recognized for exemplary management of Houston’s convention and performing arts facilities and promoting Houston as a world-class tourism destination.
- METRO (Metropolitan Transit Authority) - Community Partner of the Year is being honored for as the outstanding regional multimodal transportation system ensuring Houstonians can access businesses, services, and arts & entertainment.
- Mildred and Willie Bright - Founder’s Award are one of the families of multi-generational supporters of the theatre including more than 30 years of their own individual commitments to board service, volunteer support, and season ticket subscribers to the theatre.