10 Facts About: The M Ensemble Company

At Oasis Consulting Group we think it is important to highlight companies that are successful and doing good things in their communities, so each Friday we will Feature one company on our Blog and Social Media Pages. 

Check out 10 Facts about The M Ensemble Company, and stop by their website,themensemble.com, to check them out.

Address: 6103 N.W. 7th Avenue Miami, FL  33127

Phone Number: (305) 705.3218

Instagram Account: @mensemblecompany

Website: themensemble.com

M Ensemble Company is the longest running Black professional theater company in the State of Florida. Our company was formed in 1971 on the University of Miami campus under the direction of its founder, the late T.G. Cooper and his wife Grace. Our mission is to preserve and promote the African American culture and experiences through the performing arts.

Here are 10 Additional Facts about The M Ensemble Company:

Fact #1:

During his stay in Miami, T. G. made M Ensemble a respected professional theater company in the community.  He emphasized the importance of African Americans gaining more control of the business side of theater and becoming a relevant entity in the community.  He along with his wife Grace wrote all of the plays for the ensemble to be performed throughout the community.

Fact #2:

Prior to T. G. Cooper’s departure from the company, the first and one-time grant of $30,000 was awarded from a newly federal funded Model Cities agency.  The grant allowed for the company to move to a more permanent location in the Liberty City community.  A rented warehouse was converted into a 60-seat theater in 1972 with Samuel Williams, Patricia E. Williams, and Shirley Richardson assuming leadership.

Fact #3:

T. G. returned on several occasions to direct productions such as “One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show”, “Santa Goes to Oz” and “Jackie Mom’s Mabley Live” that was selected to perform at the 1995 National Black Theater Festival, receiving rave reviews and sold out shows.  Prior to his untimely and tragic death, T. G. was making plans to return more often to direct his new plays.

Fact #4:

A year later, the company was invited to be the first residential company at the newly built Model Cities Cultural Arts Center-renamed the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center – until 1989.  Since The company has moved to various venues in Miami-Dade County before finding permanent space at the Sandrell Rivers Theater located in Miami Dade County’s Liberty City community.  

Fact #5:

M Ensemble provides quality African American productions garnering rave reviews and new patrons.

Fact #6:

Throughout the years, MEC has been involved in creating and implementing various innovative projects, such as pioneering the county’s first drama workshop for the blind and visually disabled children with funding from The Lighthouse for the Blind in 1977.

Fact #7:

The first drama program for the youth in the Juvenile Detention Center lasted for four years and was funded by Dade Community Foundation.  

Fact #8:

From 1995 to 1998, the late Dade County Commissioner Arthur E. Teele funded M Ensemble first arts intervention program for ages 13-18 that provided summer employment for 25 youth. MEC continues with programming a theater program for youth with its’ after-school Students on Stage program.

Fact #9:

Shirley is also the co-founder of M Ensemble Company and Artistic Director of The Creative Children’s Theatre.  She received her training in Theatre and the Performing Arts at Florida A&M University and the University of Miami. She currently serves on the board as Vice President of the Diaspora Arts Coalition.  Shirley has performed and directed in many of M Ensemble’s productions.  She has serves as the Artistic Director for M Ensemble’s Students on Stage program. 

Fact #10:

Shirley received the 2019 George Abbot Award from the Carbonell Committee for her outstanding contribution to theater.

What do you think of this company? If you know of a company that you think should be featured, contact us, and let us know!

About Elizabeth-Jamey Rand

Elizabeth-Jamey Rand is the President/CEO of Oasis Consulting Group, a consulting agency based in Miami Beach, FL that specializes in Business Development, Social Media, Event Planning, Virtual Assistance, Advertising, Real Estate Agent Help, Start-ups, Marketing, and Copywriting. By using an innovative outside of the box thinking approach when it comes to working with their clients, they are able to provide their customers with comprehensive research and everything they may need in order to run their business successfully and smoothly.  To learn more, contact her at (786) 562-7601 or via email at oasisconsulting3@gmail.com.

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