History of Michael’s Daughter

The Michael’s Daughter Foundation gets it’s name from the one-woman show Michael’s Daughter, written and performed by Ciera Payton. This play highlighted Ciera Payton’s experience of having her father incarcerated and how it impacted her life. The shows was performed in the Los Angeles Woman’s Theater Festival, American Conservatory Theater, and United Solo Festival in NYC.

Each performance brought on a number of audience members who too had loved ones behind bars. They would explain to Ciera how they related to the complexities of her story and urged Ciera to expand the show in more ways than one. Thus the birth of The Michael’s Daughter Foundation. Ciera wanted to give the gift of storytelling to young people, mainly those she encountered when she worked as an arts educator for inner-city schools.

Take a peek at the play that started it all.


About Ciera Payton

Ciera Payton is an accomplished actor, writer, and educator hailing from the city of New Orleans. After Hurricane Katrina, she relocated to North Carolina where she graduated with a B.F.A. from the University of the North Carolina School of the Arts. During her time at UNCSA, she landed the lead female role starring opposite Steven Seagal in the action feature, Flight of Fury.

Some of her acting credits include AMC’s The Walking Dead, Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It Season Two and Tyler Perry’s A Madea Family Funeral.

While dedicated to her acting career, Ciera also manages her non-profit organization The Michael’s Daughter Foundation, which provides an annual media arts summer camp for youth in Panorama City, CA who have been impacted by incarceration.  Currently, she plays Lilly Winthrop, wife of the Chief of Staff and the personal fashion designer of the First Lady, on Tyler Perry’s and BET’s hit series, The Oval.