PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University’s Visual Performing and Literary Arts Committee continues its exploration of the art of love with Thomas Meloncon’s “Straight from the Heart of Thomas Melancon” at 7 p.m. Feb. 11.
Meloncon will perform a free reading of excerpts from his plays in Daggy Hall’s Jones Theatre, as students from WSU dance and music programs perform.
On Feb. 12, Meloncon will attend University Theatre’s opening night of his play “Johnny B. Goode” and hold a question and answer session at 8 p.m. in Jones Theatre. For ticket information, contact the box office in Daggy Hall at (509) 335-7236.
Meloncon has written nine major plays including “The Diary of Black Men: How Do You Love a Black Woman?” and “If Beds Could Talk.” He has written plays for the Express Children’s Theater in Houston and for numerous social agencies on alternatives to society’s problems. His writings have special meaning for the African-American community but deal with the universal themes of love and self-respect.
“The Diary of Black Men” appeared off-Broadway in 1982 and began touring in 1983, drawing record attendance. It continues to tour today, making it one of the longest-running African-American plays in the United States.
Other accomplishments include two books of poetry, “Poetry in E Minor” and “Recollections.” His poetry also is featured on the compact disc “Another Concept” by Calvin Owens (musical director for B.B. King). He has worked with the jazz and poetry programs at the Houston Independent School District for more than 22 years and performed with jazz musicians in the South, including WSU’s Horace-Alexander Young.
Meloncon has been an adjunct professor and resident playwright in Texas Southern University’s communications department, where teaches play writing. He is also resident playwright at the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston.
A sample of Meloncon’s poetry and the synopsis of “Johnny B. Goode” are available at VPLAC’s Web site at cub.wsu.edu/VPLAC.