KC Melting Pot Theatre has promoted Melonnie Walker as the inaugural Director of Education and Outreach. Walker has served as the Dramaturg in Residence at KCMPT since 2017. She is a nationally recognized dramaturg with research specialties in African American theater and performance of the work of August Wilson. She served as Assistant Director and dramaturg for many of KCMPT productions including King Hedley by August Wilson and the sold-out production of Lorraine Hansberry’s A Raisin in the Sun. Walker will assume her new responsibilities as Director of Education and Outreach September 1, 2020.
KCMPT is proud to welcome Melonnie Walker to the leadership team. Artistic Director Dr. Nicole Hodges Persley addresses the company’s need for a dedicated Education Director in the wake of COVID19- and international protests against anti-black violence and systemic racism: “Our theater’s vision continues to be to educate, amplify and uplift the voices of the global majority with a specific focus on African American cultural production. We want to serve as a resource to educators who want to be a part of changing a narrative of exclusion in America. We believe that people across racial lines are joining forces to influence change in this moment of social unrest. Her dedication to African American theatre history, her steadfast commitment to teaching theatre in public schools and her passion for teaching middle and high school students is the perfect mix of skill sets. We are confident that she can help us create programs that can empower youth, teachers and our community members, allies, accomplices and co-conspirators to understand the complex history of race and inequality in America.”
Melonnie will supervise a team of KCMPT acting collective members who can deliver quality community programs and continuing professional education, while also providing support to schools as they grapple with online and off-campus educational activities. KCMPT Founder and Director Harvey Williams addresses Melonnie’ s new role at KCMPT “Mel has gone above and beyond for KCMPT. I am delighted to offer her this leadership opportunity. She is completing her certification for secondary education at a time when our youth of color are most vulnerable and need teachers that share their cultural views and experiences. She will help us grow the theater in new and exciting ways. We look forward to seeing her grow KCMPT’s footprint as a vast resource for the growing educational needs of our community on social justice.”
A Kansas City native, Melonnie’s passion for Black Theatre education is contagious. “I am committed to the study, performance and elevation of Black theatre history because it is necessary to be the caretakers of our own stories. I am inspired to share my love of learning with my love of theatre to preserve and safeguard the legacy of African American Theatre for future generations.”
Walker will collaborate with KCMPT’s Artistic Director Dr. Nicole Hodges Persley to launch a digital Black Theatre History program that will be accessible to middle and high school teachers and will consult on KCMPT’s newly formed Black Theatre Critics program.
Walker earned her Bachelor of Science in Management from Park University. She earned her Master of Arts in Theatre History from University of Missouri-Kansas City. She is currently completing her certification in secondary education from Avila University. She serves on the Board of Advisors for the August Wilson Society, founded at Harvard University, and she is a member and Regional VP of the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas.
Contact: Linda Williams