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Shelia Headshot in red jacket



Shelia Payton is an author, playwright, librettist and lyricist living in Milwaukee, WI. 


Her theatrical works include FACING THE SHADOW, which was staged by The Black Rep in St. Louis as part of the Missouri History Museum’s 150th anniversary commemoration of the Civil War; and an African/African American-themed opera, BLACK CAESAR, based on the true story of a 17th century pirate. The score for the copyrighted work was written by the late Neal Tate, the first African American music director on Broadway. 


Shelia’s penchant as a playwright is to create character-driven stories filtered through the prism of the many interesting and compelling untold stories from African American life, history and culture; and to do so in a way that both moves the story forward, and helps the audience see past differences and connect with the characters.

Shelia is a member of Chicago Dramatists. 

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