By Dorris Ellis
The Houston Sun
Front Porch Society is now playing at the Ensemble Theatre through June 4. Setting in a delta county of Quittman, Mississippi in the city of Marks, seven families come-and-go to the front porches of two delta homes where ladies ages 95-50s bring the world to the audience.
The Ensemble’s Saturday night audience was delighted to become a part of the Front Porch Society’s amen corner, for they responded to the cast as if they were invited to participated. Directed by the Ensemble’s theatre Artistic Director, Eileen J. Morris, she took the Chicago playwright, Melda Beaty’s script and rapt a world premiere opening for the Houston market where it is bound to be a success. The time of the show’s setting is November 2008 on the front porch of Carrie Honey’s, home, played by Michelle Harrell, where the ladies discuss news and information and find solutions to problems as they provide hope and guidance to the old-and-young.
Yes, the content is serious, but this cast of professionals which included Jason E. Carmichael (Towner), the mail carrier, brought much laughter to the audience with its suspense, drama, storytelling and comedy.
Moreover, this play shows a line of compassion for the elderly as the community took care of Miss Martha, the former educator and three-times widower, and it helped to heal the pain and hurt of the 41-years of suffering of Miss Honey.
Supporting cast were: Kendrick “Kayb” Brown (Terrance), the determined high school senior; Gwen Harris (Ms. Maratha), the glue that kept the conversation civil who sat on the porch daily, Rachel Hemphill Dickson (Sister Stallworth) the spirited first lady of the church, Dannette Mcelory-Davis, (Alberta) the connected traveler and Tamara Siler (Winnie) the superstitious loquacious neighbor. This lively cast will amuse Houston audiences as it will make them think, reflect and project into the future.