updated 2/2/2011 5:17:27 PM ET 2011-02-02T22:17:27

HOUSTON, Feb. 2, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Ensemble Theatre hosts an exhibit featuring works by local quilters during the run of its production of 'Gee's Bend,' February 3 -27, 2011.

"I was inspired to share my love for quilting by Reverend Bill Lawson," says Jerona Williams, President and Founder of the Blue Triangle Quilting Guild. "He preached a sermon about using our gifts to give back, so I began teaching others to quilt."

Patrons visiting the theatre this month will see works by the Blue Triangle Quilting Guild, the Jubilee Quilt Circle of Houston: A program of Community Artist Collective, Simmons Quilting Guild, and the Sunny Side Quilters. Their works have been installed as a lobby exhibit, but some can only be seen in the performance.

The exhibit is open to the general public Monday – Friday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

'Gee's Bend,' by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder, is based on the lives of the Pettway women, descendants of former slaves owned by Joseph Gee and Mark Pettway. The play follows Alice, her daughters Sadie and Nella, and Sadie's husband, Macon, through the old south Jim Crow laws of segregation, family strife and the Civil Rights movement. These women found a sense of reprieve through quilting and the expression of their spirituality through the organic rhythms of harmonized gospel.

Director Elizabeth Van Dyke is making her return to The Ensemble Theatre where the last two productions she directed were 'Waiting to be Invited' and 'A Raisin in the Sun.'

Previews: January 29, 30, and February 2, 2011  Show Run: February 3 – February 27, 2011.

Performances: Thursdays: 7:30 p.m.; Fridays: 8:00 p.m.; Saturdays: 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.; and Sundays: 3:00p.m.

For tickets and seating availability call: 713-520-0055 or visit: www.ensemblehouston.com

Featured actors include: Kendrick Brown, Teacake Ferguson, Michelle Harper, and Detria Ward.

The Ensemble Theatre's 2010-2011 Season is sponsored in part by grants from the City of Houston through the Houston Arts Alliance and Texas Commission on the Arts. Continental Airlines is the exclusive airline sponsor for The Ensemble Theatre. This production is generously underwritten by Spectra Energy.

The Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1976 by the late George Hawkins to preserve African American artistic expression and to enlighten, entertain, and enrich a diverse community. The theatre is known as the only professional theatre in its region dedicated to the production of works portraying the African American experience. In addition to being the oldest and largest professional African American theatre in the Southwest, it also holds the distinction of being one of the nation's largest African American theatres that owns and operates its facility with an in-house production team. Board President Emeritus Audrey Lawson led the capital campaign for The Ensemble's $4.5 million building renovations that concluded in 1997.
 

CONTACT: Robert Ross
         (713) 807-4306
         rross@ensemblehouston.com

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