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.
Left to right; top row: President Austin Lane, Texas Southern University is the Grand Marshall, sitting on the top. Mrs. Lane, passenger, and the Houston National Association of Corvette Association is the driver, Deloyd Parker, Ex. Dir. Shape Community Center
Below: Parade participants are: Houston Southwest Can Academy and Dr. Ruth Hoffman-Lach
Photo Credit Tanuke Smith
By Tanuke Smith
The Houston Sun foundation held its 2nd annual Black History parade, near the newly renovated and historic Emancipation park. On Saturday morning at approximately 10:30 am, parade participants formed a line on Tuam street facing Dowling. Texas Southern University’s president Dr. Austin A. Lane, was the Grand Marshall. Mr. And Mrs. Lane greeted bystanders with smiles in an alluringly bright red convertible corvette.
Dozens of people flocked to the streets when they heard the music coming from the loudspeakers of the float, presented by the Houston Southwest Can Academy’s drill team.
Dressed in Pan African attire, community leader Deloyd Parker proudly raised his left fist and smiled as he optimistically greeted the crowd; members of the community clapped and whistled and cheered him on as he walked by.
“I lived in this community for over 25 years, and I am proud to say that brother Deloyd is a good man,” said Brenda Williams.
Bystanders near Dowling and Alabama removed their caps, hats, and other headgear as the grayish white van, pulling the trailer representing the Buffalo SoldiersMmuseum slowly rolled by. Douglass Johnson, and Calvin Woods high-fived one another as they spoke to the crowd saying” it’s been years’ scene we saw a real parade coming down Dowling.” Douglass shifted his eyes to the ground as he pondered on the last time he saw a parade routed down Dowling St.