Shelia Payton is an author, emerging playwright and lyricist/librettist living in Milwaukee, WI. Her two non-fiction books are:
• Cultures of America: African Americans (part of a series produced for middle school
students by New York publisher Marshall Cavendish)
• What Counts Most is How You Finish: Thoughts on Living Life to the Fullest (Xlibris).
The book of short essays was a Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist in the
Motivational Category; and Shelia was a featured author, signing copies at Book Expo
America in 2014. What Counts Most uses stories/examples to share life lessons learned.
The essays are organized under headings (such as Being You, Dealing with People,
Overcoming Challenges, Making a Difference) to help readers find useful information in
Shelia's first professionally produced play (Facing the Shadow), was staged in 2012 by The Black Rep in St. Louis as part of the Missouri History Museum’s 150th anniversary commemoration of the Civil War. The play also had staged readings at the:
• August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh (2012)
• Milwaukee Artist Resource Network (2012)
• 5th POTPOURRI! World Women Works Series for New Plays by Emerging and Seasoned
Playwrights in Brooklyn, NY (2014)
As a playwright Shelia’s penchant is to tell human stories filtered through the prism of little known stories from African American life, history and culture.
Other creative work includes:
• Writing the libretto for an African/African American-themed opera: Black Caesar. The
score for the copyrighted work was written by the late Neal Tate, the first African
American music director on Broadway.
• Lyrics for copyrighted songs and a concept album in the works
Shelia's professional writing experience includes working as a:
• Reporter for the Miami Herald.
• Freelance producer for Milwaukee Profiles--a program aired on Milwaukee Public
Television that presented a range of feature-style stories about people, places and issues .