The M Ensemble

Florida's Oldest Established African-American Theater Company
 NO 8:00 PM SHOW ON 3/12




Florida's oldest established African-American theater company offering musical, contemporary, classical and original plays; theater workshops for children and adults; and special vibrant presentations for Kwanzaa and Black Music Month.


Address: 6101 NW 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33127

Parking Address: 6101 NW 6th Court, Miami, FL – 33127

Phone: (786) 773-3161

Fax: (786) 773-3404

Florida’s oldest surviving Black Theatre group was founded in 1971 on campus at the University of Miami by the late T.G. Cooper, who later became the chairman of the Theatre Department at Howard University in Washington, D.C., M Ensemble’s Mission was to promote African-American culture and experiences throughout the performing arts. A year later, leadership was assumed by Williams and Richardson taking the company to a new level.

A new location was secured for the company in Liberty City. Then home became what is now called the African Heritage Cultural Center, the Bakehouse Art Complex, and the Joseph Caleb Auditorium, as well as local schools and numerous festivals. During this time, the company toured schools and libraries at no cost.

In 1972 M Ensemble was selected to represent the southern region of the United States at the World Festival for Black Arts in Lagos, Nigeria., West Africa; co-founded the Southern Black Cultural Alliance compromised of 30 African-American theatre and other cultural organizations;pioneered the country’s first drama workshop for the blind and visually disabled children in 1977; and implemeted the country’s first drama program for youths in juvenile detention centers.

To its credit, M Ensemble also participated in the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston Salem, N.C. in 1995 and 1997 with the production of Jackie Moms Mabley, Live receiving rave reviews from the Winston-Salem Press and national exposure in the New York Times and Jet Magazine. M Ensemble also co-founded the Diaspora Arts coalition in Miami-Dade County.

Today the company is listed as a major cultural arts institution by the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council. It exposes Miami-Dade inner-city youth to the fundamentals of live stage performances and provides opportunities for them to learn about the business of arts and entertainment. And, although success has been allusive at times, the results have been phenomenal. M Ensemble has definitely raised the level of awareness of the theatre industry in South Florida’s African-American community.

The Founders

  • Theodore G. Cooper (deceased) was a five-times a threat. He was a producer, director, educator, writer, actor and founder of The M Ensemble Company. “T.G.”, as he preferred to be called, was a professor of Drama at Howard University for twenty years to chair the University drama department.
  • Patricia E. Williams, Co-founder, associate producer, general manager, and occasional stage manager of M Ensemble, is an active member of the Screen Actors Guild and Actor's Equity. She is also the director of the after school program at The YWCA of Greater Miami, where she supervises 18 schools and more than 100 staff members. Williams has performed on stage, television, and film. Her appearances include the M Ensemble productions; Black Spirit Ritual, Hansel and Gretel, and El Hall Malik Shabazz. She studied theatre in New York and New Jersey where she worked with off-Broadway and regional theaters. She earned a bachelor's in theater and journalism from Northwestern University.
  • Shirley Richardson, a native of Miami, is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the company. She has also directed and performed in many of the company's productions. Additionally, she is the Program Director at the Concept Health Systems Outpatient Treatment Center. Richardson attended Florida A&M University and studied theater. She graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in theater. She also has a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University.
  • André L. Gainey, the Artistic Director of the company has performed and directed several of M Ensemble Company’s productions. André is an educator for Miami-Dade County Public teaching a theater arts program. Over the course of his acting career, André has appeared in principle roles at Miami-Dade College, also performing in productions in Orlando, FL, and at the Zora Neale Hurston Festival in Eatonville, FL. You may have seen André returning to work with AAPACT where he is a co-founder and has directed many of their productions. He has appeared on film in WLRN’s Production of The Next Generation of Black Leaders; in Cippola Productions’ Ape 29, Autopsy Turvy, Dr. X, The Harder They Fall and Nemesis.



    by Daren M. Canady

    March 9-26, 2017

    Darren Canady's "Brothers of the Dust," unfolds in 1950s rural Arkansas, not long after the "Little Rock Nine" faced down Gov. Orval Faubus and the Arkansas National Guard and desegregated Little Rock Central High School. But the burgeoning civil rights movement is mainly background for this formulaic but beautifully performed story of a family fighting over their divergent views of the future.



    by Pearl Cleage

    June 8-25, 2017


    by Layon Gray

    January 5-29, 2017

    This play is based on the 1939 Harlem Rens basketball team, where eight men overcame adversity to win more than 2,000 games while barnstorming throughout segregated parts of the country, inspiring a race and compiling the most impressive winning streak in basketball history.


M’Ensemble’s Children’s Theatre

Expanding Cultural Horizons
Ensemble’s Children’s Theatre offers children and youth the unique opportunity to experience drama. It provides them with an alternative to sports and encourages their artistic and creative abilities. It’s also a wonderful positive outlet that helps many children overcome shyness and become more secure.

Highly experienced professionals with impressive backgrounds teach them. Students meet at M Ensemble’s studio every Saturday for three hours for eight weeks. Any student 4- 16 can participate as long as they have a keen interest in the arts, creativity, and a desire to have fun.

Creative activities

  • Arts and crafts
  • Dance
  • Costume and make-up
  • Improvisation
  • Movement and dance
  • Play production


Fun-filled artistic activities will

  • develop Better understanding of ones feelings
  • Skills to work with others
  • Ability to use one’s creative side
  • A sound body


The M Ensemble Company presents Directed by Layon Gray Starring:   Allan Louis, Andre` L. Gainey, Ray Lockhart   Scott Wesley, Chris Boldon, Marquies Rogers  Stevenson Jean, Isaac Beverly   ShowtimesJanuary 5 – 29, 2017Thursday- Saturdays, 8 pm; Sunday Matinees, 3 pmOpening Night – $30General Admission – $25; Seniors & Students – $20* Group Rates Ava
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The M Ensemble Company presents   Directed by John Pryor Starring: Ethan Henry, Makeba Pace, Roderick Randle,  Chat Atkins, Keith Wade,  Jovon Jacobs, Sumaiyah E. Wade  ShowtimesJune 10 – 19, 2016Fridays & Saturdays, 8pm; Sunday Matinees, 3pmGeneral Admission – $20; Seniors & Students – $15* Group Rates Available *  Showing atCarrie P. Meek Center
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The M Ensemble Company presents   Directed by Andre’ L. Gainey Starring: ShowtimesMarch 10th – 27th, 2016Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays, 8pm; Sunday Matinees, 4pmGeneral Admission – $20; Seniors & Students – $15* Group Rates Available *  Showing atNorth Miami Senior High School13110 NE 8th AvenueNorth Miami, FL 33161 RESERVE YOUR TICKETS TODAY!! Admission
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The M Ensemble Company presents Directed by John Pryor Starring: ShowtimesFriday, May 8, 2015 – 8:00pmSaturday, May 9, 2015 – 8:00pmGeneral Admission – $25* Group Rates Available Showing atBethel Apostolic Temple1855 NW 119th StreetMiami, FL 33167 BUY YOUR TICKETS NOW!! All seats are General Admission – $25 each. Select from the dates below and click “Add to Cart̶
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M Ensembles Permanent Home

M Ensemble theater finds a permanent home in Liberty City   Legitimate theater, a classical term, is generally thought of as the presentation of long-established serious plays. Since 1971, M Ensemble 
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2016 George Abbot Award Winners

2015:  SHIRLEY RICHARDSON and PATRICIA E. WILLIAMS Shirley Richardson and Patricia E. Williams are the creative force leading The M Ensemble Company, Inc., Florida’s oldest established African-American the
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M Ensemble’s Harlem Duet tackles racial politics

By Chris Joseph Thursday, Mar 15 2012 Framed with audio clips from resonant figures in black history such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Paul Robeson, and even Oprah Winfrey, Djanet Sear’s Har
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$75 +
Best Friends
  • M Ensemble’s souvenir
  • Name in program




$1000 +
Corporate Friends
  • Company’s banner at the theatre for the entire season
  • Display on premise
  • 5 tickets for employees for each production
  • Acknowledgement in program

$150 +
Generous Friends
  • Season’s membership discount card for one
  • Free admission for one on Opening Night
  • Name on Theatre wall

Optional Memberships

  • Good Friends – $50

      • Name in Program

  • Friends – $25

      • Name in Program

Please contact The M Ensemble regarding Memberships or Donation information.


Mailing Address

Mailing Address

P.O. Box 1175 Miami, FL 33168
Theater Address

Theater Address

6101 NW 7th Ave, Miami, FL 33127

Parking Address:

6101 NW 6th Court, Miami, FL – 33127
Phone Numbers

Phone Numbers

Office: 786-773-3161
Office Fax: 786-773-3404
Box Office 305-284-8872


Info(General Info)
Shirley Richardson (Executive Director)
Patricia Williams (Associate Producer/General Manager)
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