Houston attended the Workshop for Careers in the Arts (the forerunner of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts). She left home at age 16 to study and pursue a theatre career. Houston eventually returned to DC and, earned a Fine Arts degree from Howard University.
By the time she graduated from Howard in 1976, Houston had already become a published playwright and directed her first production at the old Black Alley Theatre. Her play, ”The Fishermen,” has been performed on college campuses every year since its 1978 debut.
Houston eventually returned to New York, where she worked and/or studied with notable theatre artists such as Lori Carlos, Harry Poe, Joe Chaiken, Liz Swados, Joseph Papp, Ntozake Shange, Peter Brook, Ellen Stewart.