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Annual Gala offers Show by Actors with Disabilities

Outline: Dionysus Theatre offers inclusive theater and is the only one in Texas to put actors with disabilities and non-disabled actors under the same spotlights.

Main Digest

Only one day a year does nonprofit Dionysus Theatre reach out to supporters to help fund its mission of inclusion through Main Stage, Youth Theatre and Touring Troupe entertainment.

And for the fifth annual gala on Oct. 16, it will again pass the hat in style with a catered dining experience, lots of goodies and a sample by Dionysus Theatre actors of what they can do during the other 364 days a year.

Dionysus Theatre offers inclusive theater at its best. It is the only one in Texas to put actors with disabilities and non-disabled actors under the same spotlights, where they shine.

Along with elegant dining a in West Houston hotel, ticket purchasers also will be treated to a short production staged by Dionysus Theatre's inspired - and inspiring - troupe,

"We have so much to celebrate in Dionysus, being the only inclusive theater in Texas," said Deborah Emmy Nowinski, the theater's founder and artistic director.

Next up for Dionysus Theatre is the thriller "Wait Until Dark." Marquia Banks, a visually impaired actress, plays the role of Suzy, a blind woman terrorized by thieves in her home until she evens the playing field. The show is set to open Oct. 9 in the Joe Frank Theatre, which Dionysus Theatre rents until it finds a permanent home.

This year's gala theme - Building on a Dream - reflects the quest by Dionysus Theatre to find an independent location and highlight the theater's driving purpose, said the theater's business manager, Amy Loar.

"Dionysus Theatre educates and empowers through entertainment," Loar said. "And people who come and support us through the gala will never have so much fun - as the theater's motto says - Changing Lives, One Act at a Time."

The gala also will offer ticket-holders the of bidding at a silent and a live auction for upscale merchandise, getaway tours and luxury packages provided by Dioysus Theatre's friends at Houston-area businesses.

Harris County Judge Edward M. Emmett, director of the county's Homeland Security and Emergency Management among his leadership roles in many committees and councils, will be the evening's honored guest for his work in the wake of Hurricane Ike hitting the Gulf Coast in September 2008.

For more information, contact Dionysus Theatre, 713-728-0041, or visit www.dionysustheatre.org

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