Melissa Maxwell

This marks Melissa Maxwell’s second year at Great River Shakespeare Festival. Last year she appeared as Queen Margart in The Tragedy of Richard III and The Abbess in Comedy of Errors. Regional theatre credits include: The Public Theatre in Lewiston Maine, Alabama Shakespeare Festival, The Pearl Theatre Company, Capital Rep, Helen Hayes Performing Arts, Cincinnati Playhouse, Crossroads Theatre, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center Institute. Film and TV credits: HOSTAGES, The Thomas Crown Affair, Law & Order, The Sopranos, Third Watch, Oz, Special Victims Unit, Never Again, Petty Crimes, 13 Conversations About One Thing, Jonny Zero, As The World Turns, All My Children, numerous), and countless TV commercials. As a voice over artist, Melissa started at WGBH in Boston where she recorded several radio dramas (most notably Uncle Tom’s Cabin with James Earl Jones). She has recorded numerous books for the American Federation for the Blind and several voice overs for commercials and industrials. She is a proud member of AEA and SAG-AFTRA. Melissa’s directing credits include: Keith Josef Adkin’s Safe House (Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis); world premiere of four-time EMMY-winner Judy Tate’s Slashes of Light (The Kitchen Theatre); Andrea Lepcio’s Tunnel Vision (world premiere, Pittsburgh’s Off the WALL Theatre); American Slavery Project’s Unheard Voices, developed to give voice to the nameless souls buried at the African Burial Ground in NYC (; Intimate Apparel (Texas State University); Little Women, the musical (University of Texas); In the Heights (New York University); The Story (Duke Ellington School of the Arts; Trouble in Mind (Ohio State University); Intimate Apparel (University of Texas); Show Way (Vital Theatre), based on Jacqueline Woodson’s award-winning children’s book, received an Off Broadway Alliance ‘Best Family Show’ nomination: Nathan the Wise (Pearl Theatre Company), world premiere of scientist Carl Djerassi’s (creator of the contraceptive pill) Taboos (Soho Playhouse), 48 Hours in Harlem (Harlem School of the Arts); numerous productions at Stella Adler Studios and NYU, East Village Chronicles, Vol. 5 (Metropolitan Playhouse), Ronald Wyche’s Love Don’t Love Nobody (National Black Theatre) and Satan Never Sleeps (Theatre at the Riverside Church), numerous productions at New Perspectives Theatre Company and the NY Int’l Fringe Festival. She’s staged several events for The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, including a presentation at the International Emmy Awards. Melissa specializes in developing new plays. Playwrights she has worked with in this capacity: Andrea Lepcio’s Tunnel Vision (world premiere production scheduled for Oct 2015 at Pittsburgh’s Off the WALL Theatre); Judy Tate’s Slashes of Light (NYCWAM Collaboration award finalists); Jonathan James Norton’s My Tidy List of Terrors; Nandita Shenoy’s By Popular Demand. Melissa’s short film FETUS ENVY, a political satire that examines where our society is headed when women’s healthcare is commandeered by ambitious politicians and faceless bureaucrats, can be viewed here: is a proud SDC member. Melissa’s writing credits include: SALT IN A WOUND, a Julie Harris Playwright Competition finalist, was produced by Chicago’s eta Creative Arts Foundation, received 5 Black Theater Alliance Award nominations, including Best Play and Best Writer, and a “Production of the Year” nomination from The African American Arts Alliance of Chicago. UNREQUITED LOVE was produced at New Perspectives Theatre Company in NYC and received an Audelco Award nomination and a New Professional Theatre’s Our Words Award for excellence in playwriting. Unrequited Love is in print and is available through all major booksellers or download through iTunes. Her one-act, FETUS ENVY, was produced in the NYC Fringe Festival and by manhattantheatre source. It is published in their anthology, Book of EstroGenius 2007. She is a proud Dramatist Guild member. Melissa is also a motivational speaker. She is often asked to speak at schools and universities. Most notably, she has given two TEDx Talks. Taking Ownership: Melissa Maxwell at TEDxMosesBrownSchool and On Courage: Melissa Maxwell at TEDxBarnardCollegeWomen.

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