Society / Featured Parties

Major Stars Hit Houston for Oldest African-American Theater in Southwest’s 43rd Anniversary

It's a True Ensemble Night

BY // 08.19.19

The stars, and we do mean stars, aligned in beautiful formation Saturday night when the Ensemble Theatre troupe and fans gathered at the Hilton Americas-Houston for a black-tie evening celebrating the 43rd anniversary of the country’s third largest African-American theater and the oldest in the southwest.

Consider the presence of honorees Morocco Omari, Actor of the Year, and Richard Lawson, actor and master class instructor and recipient of the Legacy Award. Eloquent in their remarks, the charming Omari (Tariq Cousins in Empire) and the mesmerizing Lawson (Drama Critics Award winner) emphasized the importance of the Ensemble and other similar theaters as a gateway for African-American youth and as “one of the last vestiges of black literature in the country.”

A star in her own profession, Sugar Land native Amanda Holmes was recognized with the Rising Star Award for her contributions in the field of public health. Holding a master’s degree in global health from Washington University in St. Louis, she works as a public health professional at the Susan G. Komen Foundation. Teddy McDavid, one of the theater’s longest serving volunteers and president of the Ensemble Guild, was honored as Community Volunteer of the Year.

Posthumously, the beloved Lora Clemmons received the President’s Award, the honor accepted by her husband, Dr. John Clemmons, and their niece, Lauren Randle. A stylish, no-nonsense powerhouse, she earned her law degree from Texas Southern University and managed her husband’s medical practice while fervently supporting the Ensemble, the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the South Central YWCA, and serving on the boards of the Ensemble, Houston Grand Opera, the Houston Symphony and Society for the Performing Arts. Lora also proudly held the honor of being a member of the Houston Chronicle Best Dressed Hall of Fame.

Applause, applause for chairs Gaynell Drexler and Heidi Smith, honorary chair Winell Herron, board chair Alaina King Benford and board president Jesse Tyson for the well-paced, entertaining evening that included Ensemble actors. The opening performance to “Rhythm of the Night,” the gala theme, was presented by the Ensemble Theatre Dancers; a piece from The Green Book headlined by Rachel Hemphill Dickson, Timothy Eric and Christian Simon; and the performance of “I’m Every Woman” by cast members. Late-night dance tunes were provided by The Collector’s Item band.

Keeping the program running on a smooth and flawless pace were emcees Melanie Lawson of ABC Channel 13 and Khambrel Marshall of NBC Channel 2.

PC Seen: Ensemble executive director  Janette Cosley, Ensemble artistic director Eileen J. Morris, Mayor Sylvester Turner, Genora and City Councilman Dwight Boykins, City Councilwoman Amanda Edwards, Tina Knowles Lawson (wife of Richard Lawson), Marcus Smith, Doug Herron, Yvonne and Rufus Cormier, Eileen and Kase Lawal, Alison Ayers Bell and Chris Bell, Lanie Gordon and David Mincberg, Merele Yarborough, Roslyn Bazzelle Mitchell and Derrick Mitchell, Lakshmi Seshadri and James T. Campbell, Angelbert Motyer, Dr. Iman Hypolite, John Guess Jr., Tonya Brooks, and Shannon Broussard.

Old Lighthouse Club - Quivira Los Cabos

Featured Properties


Like PaperCity Dallas on Facebook

Beyond the magazine. Get more of Dallas’ top restaurant, real estate, society, fashion and art in your news feed.