Editors note: In our continuing Trailblazers series, we profile exciting young professionals organizations around Houston.
Founded in 1976 by the late George Hawkins, The Ensemble Theatre aims to preserve African American artistic expression and enlighten, entertain and enrich a diverse community. As the oldest and largest professional African American theater company in the Southwest, Ensemble holds the distinction of being one of the largest such theater companies in the country to produce plays in-house and own its facility.
"The Ensemble Theatre's Act One Young Professionals was started as a way to cultivate the next generation of supporters for the theater," says public relations manager Robert Ross. "The goal is to cultivate younger audience members by using Act One as their introduction to the theater."
Who can join? Anyone can join, but the group is targeted to young professionals aged 20 to 45.
Perks: The membership is a full season subscription with invitations to the theater's calendar of pre-show mixers, meet and greets with the cast and discounts on Act One special events.
Biggest annual event: Every April for national poetry month, the group hosts "Drama-try(tree): A Night of Dramatic Poetry" as a way to create an additional platform for Houston area poets and introduce more young professionals to the theater. A portion of the proceeds from that event also support a scholarship for a youth to participate in their Young Performer's Program, a performing arts education program for youth ages 6 to 17 years old.
Upcoming event: A mixer to kick off the new season and encourage more young professionals to join. This event is on September 12 to celebrate the group's fifth anniversary with a night of games, music and refreshments.
Membership cost: $155