Melanie Ann Wiliford is a producer, director, writer and actor. She grew up in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA where she began her theatre and music studies at an early age. After an apprenticeship at The Williamstown Theatre Festival and graduating from Converse College with a BA in Theatre she moved to New York City to continue her training at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy completing AMDA's integrated course in Musical Theatre. During her eight-year residency in NYC, Melanie worked for the Helen Hayes Theatre (Broadway), Samuel French, Inc., The Women's Project Theater, New Federal Theatre and BNN TV/Camera Planet. She studied improvisation at The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) and acting/scene study at HB Studio. Prior to moving to Scotland, Melanie completed a Stanislavsky based summer training intensive with the Moscow Art Theatre School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In Glasgow, Scotland, Melanie graduated from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (f/k/a Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) obtaining an MA degree with Merit in Classical and Contemporary Text (Acting). As part of the RCS course, she completed an internship with Playwrights' Studio, Scotland and a Shakespeare based training intensive at Shakespeare's Globe in London.
In Greenville, South Carolina Melanie worked as an actor, director and teaching artist. She served as staff Production Manager at Centre Stage and as the Centre Stage New Play Festival Director.
In autumn of 2015, Melanie returned to London to pursue an MFA in Creative Producing from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama. She was a producer for 8Squared: A Night of New Writing featuring eight minute plays by the students from Central's MA/MFA Writing for Stage and Broadcast Media course. In London, Melanie has worked with Hampstead Theatre, Mercury Musical Developments, the AVA Festival, Homer Simpson Productions, and Six40 Theatre.
Melanie returned to the Upstate of South Carolina in 2017 and founded Courageous Crossings Productions, LLC. Through her production company, she launched a podcast called, Thespis in the Green Room. Together, with her co-host, Thespis covers local, national, and international topics in theatre, performing arts, and the business of show.
Melanie volunteers as an organizer for the Kauffman Foundation's 1 Million Cups - Spartanburg chapter and works to build partnerships between the business and arts communities in the Upstate.