Woodson Research Center, Rice University

Guide to the Ensemble Theatre Records, 1983-2008 MS 533



creator Ensemble Theatre (Houston, Tex.).
Title: Ensemble Theatre Records
Dates: 1983-2008
Abstract: This collection contains fifteen boxes of material related to the operation of The Ensemble Theatre in Houston, Texas, including General Records, Administration Records and Financial Records.
Identification: MS 533
Quantity: 8 Linear Feet (15 boxes)
Language: English
Repository: Woodson Research Center, Rice University, Houston, Texas

Biography

By the time George Hawkins (1947-1991), founded the Black Ensemble Company in 1976, he already had eleven years of professional theater experience. He was an accomplished stage director as well as a stage and film actor. Hawkins graduated from Case Western Reserve University in Ohio and Prairie View A and M College in Prairie View, Texas. He furthered his professional training at Beale Street Repertory Theater in Memphis, Tennessee and New Freedom Theater in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, which included a year of study in London, England. He was the driving force behind The Ensemble Theatre until his death July 25, 1990 in Houston. Biography excerpted from href="" render="italic" type="simple"> A History of the Ensemble Theatre and its productions 1976-1999, a Master's thesis by Sharon Gray, University of Houston. A copy of this thesis is located in Box 3, folder 17.


Organizational Sketch

In November of 1976, Houstonian George Hawkins founded The Black Ensemble Company, Houston's first African American professional theater, to provide a venue for Houston's talented Black actors, writers and artists to perform. When his company moved into its first home at 1010 Tuam Street in Houston, Hawkins dropped the word Black from the name, becoming simply The Ensemble. The first production performed at the new site was href="" render="italic" type="simple">Surprise, Surprise...A Love Story, written and directed by Hawkins. In 1985, George Hawkins and his theater supporters rented a building at 3535 Main Street, Houston, and converted it into a theater. After Hawkin's death in 1991, Eileen Morris became the artistic director and devoted her life to keeping Hawkin's dream alive. In 1993, the group, now known as The Ensemble Theatre, began a fundraising campaign to purchase the building theyhad occupied for eight years at 3535 Main Street and renovate it. This venue became the largest African American theater in the United States and was the site of many "firsts" in the history of African American professional theater. In 2004, the Ensemble Theatre reached two milestones; becoming a designated stop on the new Houston Metrorail system, and the fulfillment of the mortgage on the building, celebrated by a Mortagage Burning Ceremony on January 1, 2004.


Scope and Contents

The Ensemble Theatre Records incorporate the history of the general operation of the theater, including fundraising, advertising, and administrative Board records.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

This material is open for research.

Conditions Governing Access

Stored off-site at the Library Service Center. Please request this material via woodson@rice.edu or call 713-348-2586.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish from The Ensemble Theatre Records must be obtained from the Woodson Research Center, Rice University.


Index Terms

videotapes
Theater
posters
pamphlets
corrrespondence
clippings (information artifacts)
audiotapes
Ensemble Theatre (Houston, Tex.).
Ensemble Theatre (Houston, Tex.).

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Ensemble Theatre Records, 1983-2008, MS 533, Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated by Mrs. Audrey H. Lawson March 1, 2008.

Accruals

Future additions may be expected for this material.


Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I: Ensemble Theatre General Records 1987-2008

Box Folder
1 1 Advertising, flyers and programs 1987-2008.
2 Anadarko Petroleum 1993-1994.
3 Arthur Andersen 1993-1994.
4 Andersen Consulting 1994.
5 Anheuser Busch 1993-1995.
6 Apache Corporation 1994.
7 Area Task Force, (Houston, Harris County) 1994.
8 Audelco, (Audience Development Committee, Inc) 1994-1995.
9 Auto dealerships 1993.
10 Baker and Botts, LLP 1993.
11 Bank of America 1994.
12 Bank of Houston 1994.
13 Bank One 1993,1994.
14 Black History Month, foundation and corporate support Luncheon 1995.
15 Black Theater Directory 1993,1994.
16 Blaffer Foundation 1993, 1994.
17 Brentwood Baptist Church 1995.
18 Brown and Root, Inc. 1993, 1994.
19 Brown Foundation 1992-1997.
20 Browning-Ferris Industries 1993,1994.
21 Building contracts 1994,1995.
22 Burlington Resources 1994,1995.
23 Businesses supporting the arts in Houston 1993.
24 Cultural Arts Council of Houston (CACH) 1990-1996.
25 Cultural Arts Council of Houston (CACH) Stabilization Enterprise 1996-1997.
26 CAIN Foundation 1991-1994.
27 Cameron Foundation 1993-1997
28 Charles R. Drew Medical Center 1997.
Box Folder
2 1 City of Houston 1993-1995.
2 City of Houston permits 1992.
3 Clift Foundation 1993-1994.
4 Coastal Corporation 1993.
5 Coca-Cola Foods 1993,1994.
6 Cockrell Foundation 1991.
7 Cogen Technologies 1995.
8 Combined Federal Campaign 1995-1996.
9 Compaq Computer Foundation 1991-1995.
10 Compass Bank 1994-1996.
11 Conoco 1994-1997.
12 Continental Airlines 1997.
13 Cooper Industries 1993-1996.
14 Corporate contracts 1993.
15 Cullen Foundation 1990-1997.
16 Cullen Trust for Performing Arts 1994, 1995.
17 Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee performance contracts (includes audio cassette) 1992.
18 Delloite and Touche 1994.
19 Demotte Energy Corporation 1994.
20 Destec Energy 1993,1994.
21 Don Coleman and Associates 1995.
22 Douglas M. Lawson Associates, Inc. 1993.
23 Duncan Foundation 1991-1993.
24 Eli Lilly and Company Foundation 1996.
25 Elkins Foundation 1993.
26 Eller Media Company 1995.
27 Ellwood Foundation 1991.
28 Enos Cabell Buick-Mazda 1995.
29 Enron Foundation 1991-1997.
30 Entex 1994.
31 Entrix 1994.
32 EXXON Corporation USA 1991-1995.
33 Exxon Education Foundation 1993-1995.
34 Farish Foundation 1991-1997.
35 Favrot Fund 1993.
36 Fiesta Mart 1993-1994.
37 Finger Furniture Foundation 1993.
38 First Interstate Bank 1994.
39 Fish Foundation 1991-1994.
40 Fluor Daniel 1993-1995.
Box Folder
3 1 Flyers 1987-2008.
2 Foleys 1993-1998.
3 Fondren Foundation 1990-1999.
4 Foundation Prospects 1991-1994.
5 Franklin Beauty School 1995.
6 Fulbright and Jaworski 1997.
7 Gallery Furniture 1993, 1994.
8 George Hawkins Playwright Contest 1993-1995.
9 Gregory Fund 1992-1993.
10 Gross Investments 1995.
11 Guaranty Federal Bank 1993-1995.
12 Hamman Foundation 1992-1994.
13 Hankamer Foundation 1991.
14 Harlem After Hours, VHS tape, Maxell GX Silver, T-120 246 Minute tape. undated.
15 Hershey Foundation 1992-1994.
16 Herzstein Charitable Foundation 1991-1994.
17 Master's thesis, "A History of The Ensemble Theater and Its Productions 1976-1999."
18 Hobby Foundation 1991-1995.
19 Honeywell, Inc 1993-1994.
20 Houston Arts Fund 1996.
21 Houston Businesses 1993.
22 Houston Chronicle 1993-1996.
23 Houston Endowment 1996-1998.
24 Houston Lighting and Power 1993-1997.
25 Howell Corporation 1994.
26 IBM 1993.
Box Folder
4 1 Inner Circle Memberships 1994, 1995.
2 Invitations 1991-1994.
3 J.C. Penney Foundation 1993-1994.
4 J.M. West Texas Corporation 1993-1994.
5 Kayser Foundation 1992- 1994.
6 Kemper Securities 1994.
7 Kentucky Fried Chicken 1995.
8 Kilroy Foundation 1993-1994.
9 K-Mart 1994.
10 Knox Charitable Foundation 1992-1997.
11 Kresge Foundation 1993-1994.
12 Kroger Food Stores 1993-1994.
13 Lewis Foundation 1993-1994.
14 Lowe Foundation. 1991-1994.
15 Mabee Foundation 1993-1996.
16 Marathon Group 1993-1994.
17 I.W. Marks 1993-1994."
18 McGovern Foundation 1993-1994.
19 M.D. Anderson Foundation 1992-1997.
20 Meadows Foundation, Inc. 1993-1998.
21 Menil Foundation 1993.
22 Merrill Lynch 1994-1995.
23 National Endowment For the Arts 1994-1996.
Box Folder
5 1 Newspaper articles 2006-2008.
2 Owsley Foundation 1993-1994.
3 Panhandle Eastern 1994-1997.
4 Pembroke Fund 1992-1993.
5 Pennzoil Company 1993- 1995.
6 Percy Holt and Company Insurance 1994-1995.
7 Philip Morris 1995-1996.
8 Playbills 1981-2008.
9 Powell Foundation 1993, 1997.
10 The Prudential 1993-1995.
11 Randall's Food Markets, Inc. 1993-1995.
12 Rauscher, Pierce, Refsnes, Inc. 1994.
13 SAH Properties 1995.
14 Schissler Charitable Foundation. 1993-1994.
15 Scurlock Foundation 1993-1995.
16 Shell Oil Company Foundation 1992-1997.
17 Silberstein, Maxine and Herman 1994.
18 Southwest Airlines 1994.
19 Southwestern Bell 1994-1997.
20 Sterling McCall Lexus 1995.
21 Stewart title>Company 1993.
22 Swalm Foundation 1990-1994.
23 Tenneco Gas 1993-1996.
24 Texaco USA 1989, 1991, 1994.
25 Texas Casualty Insurance 1994.
26 Texas Commerce Bank Foundation, Inc 1994-1997.
27 Transamerica 1994.
28 Transco Energy Company 1993-1995.
29 Turner Charitable Foundation 1993, 1994.
30 Union Texas Petroleum 1994.
31 Unity National Bank 1992-1997.
32 Vinson and Elkins 1993-1995, 1997.
33 Weiser, Harold 1995.
34 West Foundation 1993-1994.
35 Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church 1995-1996.



Series II: Ensemble Theatre Administration Records, 1983-1998

Box Folder
6 1 Ensemble Theatre calendars 1993, 1994.
2 Ensemble Theatre blank stationery undated.
3 Board of Directors 1991/1992 to 1994/1995.
4 Board correspondence 1990-1997.
5 Ensemble Theatre Board committees 1987- 1991.
6 Board meeting notes 1992-1994.
7 Board meeting documents, 1 of 2 1997-1999.
8 Board meeting documents, 2 of 2 1997-1999.
Box Folder
7 1 Ensemble Theatre Board photos undated.
2 Eric Calloway, interim director 1996-1997.
3 Ensemble Theatre capital campaign agenda 1993 .
4 Capital campaign 1993.
5 Contribution request: rejections 1993,1994.
6 Ensemble Theatre correspondence 1993.
7 Ensemble Theatre correspondence: in 1989-1995.
8 Ensemble Theatre correspondence: out 1989-1997.
9 Ensemble Theatre emblems undated.
10 Ensemble Theatre faxes 1993-1994.
11 The Ensemble, Ensemble Theatre floor plans undated.
12 Ensemble Theatre general information undated.
13 Ensemble Theatre capital campaign, 1 of 2 1995.
14 Ensemble Theatre capital campaign, 2 of 2 1995.
Box Folder
8 1 Ensemble Guild By-Laws undated.
2 The Ensemble Theatre history undated.
3 Ensemble theatre insurance policies 1990-1993.
4 The Black Ensemble IRS correspondence 1983.
5 Audrey Lawson promotional biography undated.
6 El Franco Lee correspondence 1993.
7 Llong-range planning correspondence: undated.
8 Ensemble Theatre marketing 1995-1996.
9 Ensemble Theatre memorandum 1994.
10 Barry Moore, Architect correspondence 1994,1995.
11 Irl Mowery correspondence 1993-1997.
12 Narrative Statement undated.
13 Newspaper articles 1990-1998.
14 News release forms, samples undated.
15 News releases undated.
16 News releases June 22, 1993.
Box Folder
9 1 News release Jun 24, 1993.
2 News release Aug 2, 1993.
3 News release April 1, 1994.
4 News release July 25, 1994.
5 News release Aug 29, 1994.
6 News release Jul 26, 1995.
7 Personnel undated.
8 Personnel Committee 1992-1995.
9 Ensemble Theatre personnel policy undated.
10 Planning and development audit, study report 1993.
11 Power breakfast papers 1993.
12 Press release undated.
13 Proposal enclosures 1977-1995.
14 Proposal enclosures for the City of Houston 1992-1994.
15 Publicity 1993-1996.
16 Reviews undated.
17 Rotary clubs undated.
Box Folder
10 1 Armand Shapiro (President of Garden Ridge Pottery) undated.
2 Signatures undated.
3 Singles programs undated.
4 South Main Baptist Church 1995.
5 Space needs 1995.
6 Staff biographies undated.
7 Staff correspondence 1995.
8 Study questionnaire undated.
9 Subscriptions undated.
10 Texas Employment Commission 1992-1997.
11 Thank-yous ( Ensemble) 1989-1993.
12 Theta Antiques Charity Show 1993.
13 Trinity episcopal Church 1994.
14 TSU; The Piano Llesson 1995.
15 Venture grant 1990.
16 Video script 1993.
17 Volunteer cards undated.
18 Celeste Walker, Mountaintop Productions correspondence 1993.
19 Kijana Wiseman correspondence 1991.



Series III: Ensemble Theatre Financial Records, 1983-2008

Box Folder
11 1 Ensemble Theatre audit 1989-1993.
2 Ensemble Theatre audit 1994-1997.
3 Ensemble Theatre audit 1997.
4 Bank of America 1994.
5 Guaranty Federal Bank 1992, 1993.
6 South Main Bank 1991-1994.
7 Unity National Bank 1991.
8 Building Campaign 1993.
9 Building fund - National Bank 1995-1997.
10 Building Fund- Unity National Bank 1996,1997.
11 Ensemble Theatre Bulding account book 1992-2000.
Box Folder
12 1 Ensemble Theatre cash book 1993-1995.
2 Ensemble Theatre cash book 2000.
3 Ensemble Theatre check receipts 1997-2000.
4 Ensemble Theatre contribution tax receipt form undated.
5 Ensemble Theatre financial statements and supporting workpapers, 1 of 2 1998-2000.
6 Ensemble Theatre financial statements and supporting workpapers, 2 of 2 1998-2000.
7 Ensemble Theatre Gala account book 1990-1992.
Box Folder
13 1 Ensemble Theatre Gala account 1993-2000.
2 Ensemble Theatre general account 1992.
3 Ensemble Theatre donation thank-you letters 1993-1997.
4 Ensemble Theatre income and expense projection 1994-1998undated.
5 Ensemble Theatre general operating budget 1992-1993.
6 Ensemble Theatre Inner Circle correspondence 1994.
7 Ensemble Theatre IRS correspondence 1989-1993.
8 Ensemble Theatre IRS reinstatement 1995.
9 Ensemble Theatre c501(c)3 letters 1983-1993.
10 Ensemble Theatre IRS 990 forms 1989-1994.
11 Ensemble Theatre IRS Forms 1099 1992,1993.
12 Ensemble Theatre mail record logbook 2000- 2001.
Box Folder
14 1 Ensemble Theatre old fiscal matters 1991-2000.
2 Ensemble Theatre pledges, 1 of 2 1993-1996.
3 Ensemble Theatre pledges, 2 of 2 1993-1996.
4 Ensemble Theatre contribution tax receipt book 1994-1995.
5 Ensemble Theatre receipts and invoices 1991-1996.
6 Ensemble Theatre record book 1 of 2 1997-2000.
7 Ensemble Theatre record book 2 of 2 1987-1996.
Box Folder
15 1 Ensemble Theatre posters 1992, 2008.