Melda Beaty is a passionate playwright. Her first play, Front Porch Society, enjoyed a world premiere at The Ensemble Theatre in Houston, TX (2017), and a mainstage production at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC (2019). Her second play, Coconut Cake, was a semi-finalist for American Blues Theatre Blue Ink Playwrighting Award and had staged readings the National Black Theatre Festival (2017) and ReadFest in Houston, TX (2017) with virtual readings at St. Louis Black Rep (2020) and The Ensemble Theatre (2020). Her one-act stage play, Thirty, was a finalist in the Blackboard Play Festival (2021) and WayWard Sisters Third Annual Workshopping Women's Voices (2021). Melda's recent musical, The Lawsons: A Civil Rights Love Story, was commissioned by The Ensemble Theatre for their 2021-2022 season. Presently, she is a 2021 Confluence Fellow with the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival. Her upcoming short film, Cupcake, chronicles the divide mental illness creates between a mother and her daughter. In addition, she is an author of two books, performance review editor for tBTR (the Black Theatre Review), and freelance contributor to Black Masks magazine. Melda resides in Chicago, Illinois where she is an assistant professor of English at Olive-Harvey Community College. She earned a B.A. in Broadcast Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a M.A. in English at Illinois State University. She is also a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated and Black Theatre Network. In her spare time, she enjoys cardio and strength training, live theater, concerts, writing, reading, traveling, and hanging with her three Z’s/daughters: Zora, Zhien, and Zadie.