Melda Beaty

A little something about Melda…

Author, playwright and college English professor, Melda Beaty is the “one to watch,” in her industry. Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Melda resides in Chicago, Illinois with her three gifted and beautiful daughters.

Melda is a passionate playwright. Her current play, Front Porch Society, delves into the complex lives of four elderly black women in rural Mississippi Delta on the eve of the 2008 presidential election. What does the election of the country’s first black president mean to women who have lived through segregation, civil rights, and the senseless killings of black boys? Front Porch Society enjoyed a successful world premiere at The Ensemble Theatre in Houston, TX May 11-June 4, 2017: http://www.houstonpress.com/arts/review-front-porch-at-the-ensemble-theatre-houston-press-9443241. It was also read at the following: NBTF (National Black Theatre Festival) in Winston-Salem, NC in 2015; Robey Theatre in Los Angeles, CA in 2013 (See cast and press: http://meldacreates.com/front-porch-society/) and Chicago Dramatist in Chicago, IL in 2011. Her new play, Coconut Cake, invites theater goers to sit at the table with retired black men who faithfully meet at McDonald’s. Come have a sit, drink some coffee, play some chess, and listen. Coconut Cake was recently read at the NBTF in Winston-Salem, NC in 2017.

In addition, Melda is an author/editor of a diverse and cathartic compilation of non-fiction writings by black women to their fathers. My Soul to His Spirit: Soulful Expressions from Black Daughters to Their Fathers won the 2006 National Fresh Voices Award. Her debut novel, Lime, is being hailed as America’s Next Top Model meets Burning Bed. She has also published Shopping Cart, a short story about motherhood and mental illness in the online publication, Literary Mama.  Her articles on minority student recruitment and retention were featured in Black Issues in Higher Education, Illinois Committee on Black Concerns in Higher Education, In Search of Fatherhood Forum and Proud Parent Journal.

Melda earned a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a M.A. in English/Writing at Illinois State University. She teaches college English at Olive-Harvey College and her business, MeldaCreates, Inc. provides workshops on writing. Melda is also an engaging speaker and presenter.

In her spare time, Melda enjoys cardio and strength training, bike riding, live theater, concerts, reading, and listening to NPR.