Tackling the conversations — Malachi Beasley looks beyond stereotypes


Reporter’s Note: Each summer, Chautauqua Theater Company and Chautauqua Opera Company invite young actors and artists into its program for a fully-funded fellowship. This summer’s program consists of seven actors and five young artists. To better connect readers to the actors themselves, Q-and-A interviews will run regularly throughout the rest of the summer. 


Who: Malachi Beasley, from San Diego, is in his third year at The David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University. He portrayed Justin in Blood at the Root and Pantalone in Commedia.

What is your favorite song right now?

“Sunbathe” by Miguel. I think what it does is give me a little bit of lightness. I think, as a male, at least for myself, that doesn’t really live in the sensuality of enjoying all sensations of the world, “Sunbathe” feels like I could take in the world, take in the trees. 

Is there a recent performance that you were wowed by?

Jonny Donahoe in the one-man show Every Brilliant Thing. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. There’s one dude just tackling depression but in such a light way. It was so good. I saw it in San Diego in 2016.

Do you have a dream role?

I would love to play a surfer. That’s the goal. I feel like you don’t get to see people of color in that kind of environment. I would really like to tackle that conversation and just show that there’s other things that we can do — there are Black surfers — and highlight it not as something that is a struggle movie, but that’s just like, oh, he just surfs. So that is peak success for me.

Who are your inspirations or influences?

I’ve really been in love with Billy Crudup. He’s on “The Morning Show.” I just love the way he knows how to create nuanced characters. He creates a very sensitive but focused man without it being this stereotype of the boss. The character is a human that is going through his own insecurities and trying to navigate the world, but he doesn’t mind telling you the facts. I love that so Billy Crudup is definitely someone who I’ve been tracking.

What is your go-to food after a long day of rehearsal?

Brick Walk french fries or cookies ‘n’ cream ice cream.

What has been the best part of being in CTC so far?

It’s just nice to hear different perspectives. It’s nice to see people from different schools, from different places of work. It’s nice to hear how other people function and even our crew, and our designers and seeing how their art brings them joy. Having those conversations, that intersectionality, with the opera people, with The Chautauquan Daily staff, with some of the Chautauquans. I want to keep on exploring that.

Tags : Chautauqua Theater Companyconservatory actorlooking beyond stereotypesmalachi beasleytheater
David Kwiatkowski

The author David Kwiatkowski