C U R R E N T P R O D U C T I O N
A virtual screening of the 2019
New Horizon Theater Inc. production of...
FRONT PORCH SOCIETY
Written by Melda Beaty
Directed by Herb Newsome
Stevie Akers Kevin Brown Taj Clinton Rita Gregory Darrin Mosely Jr. Karla Payne Tracy Turner
NOV. 5, 6, 7, 2020
at 7 PM
It's November 4, 2008, in Marks, Mississippi, and America is on the eve of electing it's first black president. But what does that mean to 4 elderly women in this rural town, especially Carrie Honey, the town's "overseer", as she grieves the anniversary of her son's tragic death amidst the town's excitement over Barack Obama. After years of failed attempts to seek justice, Carrie has grown bitter and is no longer interested in life's celebrations, until a scandal at the cemetery rocks this historic day, and a past secret is revealed that somehow restores her faith.
ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT
Playwright, author and assistant professor, Melda Beaty is the “one to watch.” Born in Jackson, Mississippi, Melda resides in Chicago, Illinois with her three gifted and beautiful daughters. Melda is a passionate playwright. Her first play, Front Porch Society, delves into the complex and connected lives of four elderly black women in Mississippi Delta on the eve of the 2008 presidential election. What is the significance of the first Black president to women who lived through Jim Crow, The Civil Rights Act, and the senseless killings of Black boys? The play enjoyed a world premiere at The Ensemble Theatre in Houston, TX (2017), and most recently, a mainstage production at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, NC (2019). The play is traveling across the country gathering rave reviews. Her second play, Coconut Cake, was accepted into the New Works Reader's Series at the 2017 National Black Theatre Festival and had a 2017 staged reading during ReadFest in Houston, TX. Her most recent stage play, Thirty, is an explosive look at a generation of Black women trying to make sense of family secrets. Melda was commissioned by The Ensemble Theatre for their 2021-2022 season. Her upcoming short film, Cupcake, chronicles the divide mental illness creates between a mother and her daughter. In addition, Melda is an author of two books and freelance contributor to Black Masks magazine. Her first book, My Soul to His Spirit: Soulful Expressions from Black Daughters to Their Fathers won the 2006 National Fresh Voices Award. It is a diverse and cathartic compilation of non-fiction writings by black women from across the United States. Her debut novel, Lime, is hailed as “America’s Next Top Model” meets “Burning Bed.” Both books are available on Amazon.com. Melda earned a B.A. in Broadcast Journalism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a M.A. in English at Illinois State University. Today, she is a tenured professor at Olive-Harvey College. In her spare time, Melda enjoys cardio and strength training, live theater, concerts, traveling, and hanging with her three Z’s/daughters.