Melissa Mowry (she/her) is an East Coast based director, performer and theatre maker. From a young age, Melissa found herself drawn to the stories of the people around her. It was common to find her talking with relative strangers and learning about the adventures they had, the heartbreaks they faced, the obstacles they had overcome.
As she grew older, this passion for stories and a love for art set her on a journey as a singer, actor, director and writer, as she sought more and more ways to connect with people and engage with and learn from the people and communities around her.
Earning her BA in Drama from Randolph-Macon College, with a second major in Music Industry, Melissa also found her passion for travel, advocacy and theatre. Spending much of her time at volunteering for local and school-based advocacy groups, Melissa found a desire to uplift communities and voices that often felt silenced or ignored.
In 2018, Melissa graduated with her MFA in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School (ASDS) at Pace University, where she focused primarily on a Stanislavsky and Method-based approach to theatre technique. Which allowed her to develop an actor-focused directing style that is rooted in collaboration and care.
Since her graduation from ASDS, Melissa has been an active theatre maker in New York, Virginia, and across the US. Creative collaborations have included organizations such as: Ars Nova, JAGFest, The Lower East Side Shakespeare Company, The New Group, New York Fringe Festival, Permafrost Theatre Collective, Project1Voice, The Shed, The Tank, Theatre in Asylum, The Ume Group, and WP Theatre in New York; Cadence Theatre Company and Virginia Repertory Theatre in Virginia; Summit Performance Indianapolis in Indiana; and the Kattaikkuttu Sangam and Gurukulam in Tamil Nadu, India.
Melissa is also an alumni of the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Fellowship at The New Group and The SDCF Observership Program, where she observed and assisted Patricia McGregor on her production of Lights Out Nat King Cole at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. She was also a finalist for the Drama League’s 2022 Stage Director Fellowship.
Melissa continues to champion respectful collaboration, intentional exploration, and community care in her rehearsal rooms and artistic process. Her hope is that her work will touch the hearts of collaborators and audiences, encourage them to reflect on themselves and their place in the world, and drive them to make sustainable change.
Exploring Monologues Workshop
Melissa will be leading a four-week workshop with the Entertainment Community Fund. In this workshop participants will explore and prepare monologues by engaging in a low-stakes "actors playground" to explore and deepen their connection with their monologues, and then shape their pieces into performance ready material.
Click here for more information about the Entertainment Community Fund
"From the Mississippi Delta" by Endesha Ida Mae Holland, Ph.D.
Melissa directed a reading of From the Mississippi Delta by Endesha Ida Mae Holland, Ph.D. The piece is part of Project1Voice's One Play One Day and features: Elain Graham, Brenda Denmark, Lisa Arrindell, and Bernita Robinson
This Pulitzer Prize-nominated play traces the story of one woman's triumphant journey out of a difficult childhood in Mississippi through the civil rights movement and beyond, offering us a gripping tale of resilience and the human spirit.
tango of a crumbling wall by Jac Ford at Theatre Latea
Melissa directed tango of a crumbling wall by Jac Ford as part of New York Summerfest.
Synopsis: After their date, Charlie and Oak try to navigate the goodbye tango of do-I-or-don't-I-kiss-them while wrestling with their inner saboteurs.
Click here for more information about Jac and tango of a crumbling wall.
"Padiddle" by Kevin Renn at JAGFest
Melissa directed a workshop reading of Padiddle by Kevin Renn. The piece, part of JAGFest 6.0, follows two best friends, Toledo and July, recounting the highs and lows of their fifteen-year friendship—from high school teens all the way into adulthood.
Click here to find out more about Kevin and Padiddle