Ensemble Theatre is dedicated to the responsible production of works that celebrate the human spirit drawn from the rich cannon of modern American classics as well as other significant contemporary plays. Ensemble serves greater Cleveland and the Midwest region by reintroducing the classics, examining them with new eyes, and supporting the development of new works for the American theater. The theater is committed to non-traditional casting and to providing culturally diverse programming that speaks to issues of contemporary life. Educational and outreach activities impact youth and under served populations through resident and touring performances.
With the purpose of producing American classics, Ensemble Theatre was founded in 1979 by Artistic Director, Lucia Colombi. Ensemble created the series Panorama of African-American Theatre, which was filmed by PBS, syndicated nationally and chosen for their "First View Award," selecting it as one of the top 25 educational programs in the country.
Ensemble Theatre has won Northern Ohio Live's Achievement Award for its productions of "A Trip to Bountiful", " Kentucky Cycle" and "Having Our Say". Cleveland Magazine's Reader Poll chose the Theatre's production of "The Gin Game" as Best Production.
Ensemble Theatre has produced more than 150 plays and offers extensive educational and senior citizen touring programming serving culturally diverse and underserved populations throughout Ohio.
"Ensemble Theatre has a lengthy history as the area's chief repository and archaeological dig site for classic American drama. The last quarter-century's local productions of notable native plays from the 1920's through the 1950's would be practically non-existent without the gutsy dedication of Ensemble..."
-James D' Amico
Special to The Plain Dealer
A Brief History of Ensemble Theatre:
Founded in 1979 with the purpose of producing American Classics.
Our first production was Sylvia Plath, A Dramatic Portrait (Cleveland State Factory Theatre)
1979-89 Production of 11 plays by American master Eugene O'Neill culminating in repertory performances celebrating the centenary of his birth.
1990-91 Developed first "Panorama of African American Theatre" filmed by PBS, syndicated nationally and winner of a First View Award announcing it as one of the top 25 educational programs in the country.
1992-93 Winner of Northern Ohio Live's Theatre Achievement Award for Trip to Bountiful
1993-94 Winner of Cleveland Magazine's Readers' Poll for Best Production, The Gin Game
1995-96 Winner of Northern Ohio Live's Theatre Achievement Award for The Kentucky Cycle.
"... with Ensemble's production of The Kentucky Cycle, small professional theatre in Cleveland has come of age." - Marianne Evett, The Plain Dealer.
1997-98 One of three nominated productions for Northern Ohio Live's Theatre Achievement Award for
Having Our Say.
Ensemble Theatre has received funding from The Ohio Arts Council, The George Gund Foundation, The Cleveland Foundation, The Martha Holden Jennings Foundation, The Nordson Corporation Foundation, Oglebay Norton Corporation Foundation and Magic American Corporation