Linda Estes, Deborah Hutchinson, Nicole Walters, Sherise Marshall
Argentina James, Roger Harris
Brandon & Brandi Carson
C.B. Marshall, Keith McWilliams
Erica Littlejohn Burnette, Robert Ross
Gala chairs Jane-Page Crump, Merele Yarborough
Honorary gala chairs Kelli Cohen Fein & Martin Fein
Jacqueline Kinloch, Karen Long
Janette Cosley, honorary chair Licia Green-Ellis
Kick-off chair Shawntell McWilliams
Melanie & Chris Promecene
Myrtle Jones, Beth Wolff
Nicole Walters, Brandon McClendon, Myrtle Jones, Gayla Gardner
What: The Ensemble Theatre‘s Cocktail Kick Off Announcing 40th Anniversary Ball
Where: The Ensemble Theatre at Midtown
PC Moments: The high voltage evening unfolded in multiple acts. First up, the main players took to the stage and warmed up the tony crowd of board members, sponsors, and supporters. On the dais, gala co-chairs Merele Yarborough and Jane-Page Crump, executive director Janette Cosley, and board chair Argentina James introduced the fellow leading actors in the celebrated theater’s upcoming black-tie gala set for Saturday, August 19, at the Hilton Americas.
Headliners underscored the importance of the Ensemble, renowned as one of the few theaters to present all of August Wilson‘s plays. Honorary chairs Kelli Cohen Fein and Martin Fein, fellow honorary chair Licia Green-Ellis (her husband, The Honorable Rodney Ellis, was on government business and there in spirit); and the evening’s chair Shawntell McWilliams (who received a gift and applause) all stood up.
The announcement of the gala’s goal — $1 million dollars, its most ambitious ball effort ever — and theme, “Live It, Love It: Celebrate Theatre!” was accompanied by a confetti pop as the co-chairs returned to stage to croon Kool and the Gang’s Celebrate. The night included culinary stylings by Southern Creole Foods, DJ SupaStar on the turntable, and Silvanus LaToison (introduced by artistic director Eileen J. Morris) who performed standards by Stevie Wonder and Bruno Mars.
Who: In the bright lights: Gallerist Lloyd Gite, Brandi and Brandon Carson, Judge Bill Littlejohn, Beth Wolff, Jacqueline and Leon Kinloch, Keith McWilliams, James Crump, Deandrea and Niles Dillard, Judi McGee, Carolyn Mann, Myrtle Jones, Evelyn Washington, Gayle and Donald Gardner, Elizabeth Anthony’s Brandon McClendon, Nicole Walters, Sherise and C.B. Marshall, Deborah Hutchinson, Gloria Gaston, Brenda and John Chase, Crystal Hadnott, Vanya and Henry Gamble, Melanie and Chris Promecene, The Ensemble’s Robert Ross, Rhea Lawson, Melba Williams, Karen Long, Linda Estes, Erica Littlejohn Burnette, Cheryl Ramagos, and Rosalyn Boyd.