After earning an MA in Scotland and residing in NYC, Glasgow and London, Melanie returned to her home region in the Upstate of South Carolina. There she began working as a teaching artist with the professional theatre company, The Warehouse Theatre in Greenville, developing and presenting lessons for school children and teens focused on Shakespeare and contemporary classics. Melanie completed a two-day workshop in Playback Theatre at the Applied Theatre Center Conference in Greenville, performed in a short film presented at the Expecting Goodness Short Film Festival in Spartanburg, and attended voice over workshops at Voice of Steel Productions and Creative Studios of Atlanta. Melanie also began her association with the professional theatre company, Centre Stage in Greenville.
Centre Stage in Greenville, South Carolina is a professional, 285-seat, thrust stage venue producing plays, musicals and revues, a New Play Festival, and multiple special events in a season. Melanie's association with Centre Stage began as a freelance contract actor. She joined the theatre's administrative staff and was part of the team that earned Centre Stage two consecutive Best of the Upstate Awards for 2013 and 2014.
Centre Stage contracts local performers, designers, directors, and tech support to produce a varied Main Stage season consisting of popular titles and an annual Rock 'n Roll revue concert. The Fringe Series offers more intimate productions that present timely topics or provocative themes.
Melanie was onstage in Centre Stage productions. Pictured is Melanie as Laura Baker in Whose Wives Are They Anyway?, Muriel in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and in the Ensemble of Sweeney Todd.
Melanie was the Producing Director for Centre Stage's annual New Play Festival. The festival accepted script submissions, evaluated the plays, and selected three finalist playwrights to attend the week-long festival. Finalist scripts received a rehearsed reading followed by a talkback. An established playwright was contracted as Playwright-in-Residence to mentor the emerging playwrights. Pictured here is the 2014 Playwright-in-Residence, Lee Blessing.
During her tenure as Director of the New Play Festival, Melanie recruited over 30 qualified script evaluators from 3 countries to adjudicate scripts. She optimized script submission and evaluation procedures via initiation of online platforms resulting in a submissions boost from 100 to 400. Melanie also conceptualized and produced a fundraising event for the festival.
Melanie was Assistant Director of Centre Stage's Main Stage production of the musical Next To Normal. Her duties included researching Bipolar Disorder, providing dramaturgical feedback to the director and cast, "spot cleaning" sections for performance, and providing practical and pastoral support for the company.
Melanie directed Centre Stage's Fringe Series production of Irena's Vow. Her duties included overseeing the design and style of the show, casting, script analysis, leading the actors through character development and performance practice, organizing rehearsal schedules, blocking and staging the show, sourcing music and scenery projections, collaborating with designers, assuring the quality of the production, maintaining the timeline and budgetary requirements, and supporting her company.
For a review of Irena's Vow published in the Greenville News
Melanie directed Centre Stage's Main Stage production of the musical Hands on a Hardbody. Her duties included overseeing the design and style of the show, casting, script and music analysis, leading the actors through character development and performance practice, organizing rehearsal schedules, blocking and staging the show, collaborating with designers, the music director and the choreographer, assuring the quality of the production, maintaining the timeline and budgetary requirements, and supporting the company.
Melanie was also Production Manager for Hands on a Hardbody.
For a review of Hands on a Hardbody published in the Greenville News
Melanie was on staff for 60 productions at Centre Stage. She began in administration and box office and was soon offered the position of Production Manager. As Production Manager she was the producer in the trenches in charge of: casting and auditions, creative team and crew hiring, contract drafting and management, performance rights acquisition, production planning and scheduling, budget monitoring, project and team management, sourcing, production supply management, best practices and procedure development, quality assurance, customer service, and company management and care. As a staff member, she participated in season selection and programming, marketing brainstorms, and assisted at the annual fundraising Gala.
Melanie's accomplishments as Production Manager include; streamlining the production process and establishing procedures and practices. She initiated online platforms for improved communication and documentation with freelance guest artists.
Melanie was the first to occupy the role of Production Manager at Centre Stage and oversaw 18 shows, 2 New Play Festivals and managed the pre-production of 16 additional productions before her departure to London. Through her service, she was able to help define the staffing needs at Centre Stage, her job description, and develop her own skills as a producer.
Pictured above: A Few Good Men, Rock n' Roll, The Letters, Love, Loss and What I Wore, Smudge, The Producers, A Flea in Her Ear, Young Negress Stepping Out of the River at Dawn, Two Rooms, Swingin' Country, Spamalot, Shout!