As well as being double-jointed in her fingers, Melissa has been working in theatre for the past 12 years on over seventy 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; Walkerton; and the booming metropolis of Kincardine. Along with working as a freelancer and an arts teacher, she is the founder and Artistic Director of The Cheshire Unicorn.
Previous credits include: creator/director of Infinitum, writer of A Double-Edged Word (Asphalt Jungle Shorts / Magnetic North), director of The Saddest Girl in the World (Summerworks 2010), writer/performer of Wanda T. Grimsby: Detective Extraordinaire (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 (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.