Melissa has worked on over 80 stage productions as a playwright, director, performer, producer, designer and stage manager. Her plays have been produced in Toronto, New York, London, Hong Kong, Mumbai (India), Pune, (India), Williston (North Dakota), Royal Oak (Michigan), Windsor,Kitchener/Waterloo and several rural towns across the continent. Along with working in theatre, she is a Renaissance Woman, the Artistic Director of The Cheshire Unicorn, an educator and a yoga and fitness instructor.
Previous credits include: creator / director of ACTORS! Canadian Actors Up Close and Personal; creator / director of Infinitum (Cheshire Unicorn 2011); writer of A Double-Edged Word (Asphalt Jungle Shorts / Magnetic North 2010); director of The Saddest Girl in the World (Summerworks 2010); writer/performer of Wanda T. Grimsby: Detective Extraordinaire (Mel Lastman Square, Fringe 2011, Lower Ossington Theatre 2010); director of Crazy Gary's Mobile Disco (Hiroic Productions Fringe Tour 2009), writer/performer of Floozy: The Musical (Toronto Fringe 2008); writer of Even Burning (Toronto Fringe 2008 & New Ideas Festival 2008); director of Kid Cosmic: The Multimedia & Cartoon Space Rock Superhero Musical (Summerworks 2008); writer/performer of Unicorn Horns (IDEA World Congress of Theatre in Hong Kong 2007, Theatre Passe Muraille & Nuit Blanche 2006); writer/director of Kicking & Smiling (Nuit Blanche 2007 & Squiggfest 2007); and writer of Art is a Cupboard (Toronto Fringe 2006 & hotINK Festival, New York 2007).
Awards for her work include the York University President's Prize for Playwriting in 2004 (Art is a Cupboard), 2006 (Unicorn Horns) and 2007 (Kicking and Smiling). Art is a Cupboard was also a finalist for the Hidden River Arts Playwriting Award in Bala Cynwyd, PA (USA) and a semi-finalist for Reverie Productions' Next Generation Playwriting Contest in New York, NY (2006). As well it won the hotINK 2007 playwriting competition where it was produced in New York, NY. Her only children's play, Wanda T. Grimsby, Detective Extraordinaire, won the 2006 Summer Shorts Festival Playwriting Competition, where the play was produced by Youth Education OnStage in Williston, North Dakota. One of her short plays, Delly's Belly, was a finalist for the 2006 Emerging Artist Theatre?s Fall EATfest award in New York, where it garnered a staged reading.
Her university degree collection includes B.A.s in Theatre & Psychology, a B.Ed in Fine Arts Education from York University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of Guelph.n Theatre & Psychology, a B.Ed in Fine Arts Education from York University, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from University of Guelph.
Reviews of her work:
"NNNN - A visually stunning contemporary dance piece...expertly executed!"
"NNNN - Fantastic! The depiction of the universe's progress from uniformity to unlimited differentiation DAZZLES"
"4 stars! A fringe gem!"
"NNNN - Reminiscent of Samuel Beckett's enigmatic Ghost plays"
"NNNNN - Major brings dark humour and a seemingly bottomless reserve of raw emotion to the role."
"Major's energy is unflagging!"