Season Lineup Box Office Artistic Info Programs Facility Rentals Support the Ensemble About the Ensemble News Room
  National Stage Reading

The Ensemble Theatre joins National Stage Reading of For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf by Ntozake Shange, Monday, June 16, 2014, 6:00 P.M. 3535 Main Street, Houston TX 77002.

Over 30 African American theatre companies and diverse institutions will take part in this international experience featuring prominent and local actors.  This year, marks the 40th anniversary of the stage debut of For Colored Girls…This seminal work of American literature uniquely combines poetry, dance and music—placing the African American female’s experience in America unapologetically center stage.

This year’s reading of For Colored Girls… is being used by several participating organizations as a platform to promote wellness for women and girls in the African American community and a catalyst for conversations about promoting literacy; providing access to health care information and services; raising political awareness; and engaging in the arts. These organizations are showing that theatre is more than entertainment; it can be a useful tool in educating, raising awareness, and affecting change in the communities they serve.

The Ensemble Theatre has partnered with local organizations and professionals to provide testing and informational resources:

  • AIDS Foundation Houston will provide testing before and after the reading.
  • Houston Area Urban League will distribute information about affordable care enrollment.
  • Dr. Marketa Wills and Josephine Tervalon, LCSW will provide information on mental health and emotional trauma.

National Stage Reading of:

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf

By Ntozake Shange and Directed by Wayne DeHart

Monday, June 16, 2014, 6:00 P.M.
Tickets: $10

The Ensemble Theatre
3535 Main Street, Houston TX 77002

The Ensemble Theatre featured cast members included: Cynthia Brown, Rachel H Dickson, Kimberly Hicks, Rita Hughes, Miss Pinky, Constance Washington, Samantha West.

The Tony and Obie Award-winning play is a compilation of 20 poems, collectively called a “choreopoem.”  Shange’s poetry expresses the struggles and obstacles women may face in their lives. It is performed by a cast of seven women characters, each of whom is only known by a color, such as Lady in Red. The women in the play learn to celebrate their beauty, their friendships, their scars, their successes, and their connection to something larger and divine. With vivid, lyrical language--specific in its pain and universal in its reach—For Colored Girls… evokes feelings that continue to excite, inspire and transform audiences around the world, four decades after becoming a Broadway sensation.

This national stage reading was started four years ago by a New York based arts resource organization called Project1Voice as a way to raise awareness of the importance of sustaining African American theatre. Every year during the week of Juneteenth a stage reading is held that features the work of an African American playwright.

For more information about 1VOICE/1PLAY/1DAY and other programs and events offered by Project1VOICE visit

Ntozake Shange (Playwright)
Nee Paulette Williams, Ntozake Shange attended Barnard College and UCLA, earning both a bachelors and master degree in American Studies. Her work as an educator, performer/director and writer draws heavily on her experiences of being a black female in America. Best known for her play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When The Rainbow is Enuf, other plays by Shange include A Photograph: A Study of Cruelty, Boogie Woogie Landscapes, Spell No. 7 and Black and White Two Dimensional Planes.

Project1VOICE (Producer) Founded by actor/producer Erich McMillan-McCall, Project1VOICE is a national organization whose mission is to strengthen and promote African American theater and playwrights through its innovative initiatives and approaches to audience development, volunteerism and community engagement, as well as fundraising. Project1VOICE focuses attention on the challenges confronting African American theaters and assists in providing solutions for sustainability and long-term institutional growth with programs that educate, enlighten and entertain. Project1VOICE seeks to preserve the legacy of African American theater and cultivate future generations of artists and arts patrons.  What began as a grassroots organization for survival in response to the economic downturn of 2008-09 soon developed into a national initiative.

Celebrating its 4th successful year, Project1VOICE is an evolving and continuing voice for American theater. Key members of the Project1VOICE team are producer/production manager Gwen Gilliam, award-winning playwright and MOTOWN: The Musical director Charles Randolph-Wright and marketing consultant/producer Marcia Pendelton (Walk Tall Girl Productions). FOR COLORED GIRLS… is made possible with special permission granted by Samuel French.