Melissa Rain Anderson | Director ~ Actor ~ Coach Melissa Rain Anderson | Director ~ Actor ~ Coach

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  • Bottom Line: A first-class laugh fest that pokes gentle fun at murder mysteries, high drama, and ego with admirable craft (and carpentry). Highly recommended, especially in these days when summer is not here, and politics still is. We need laughs.

    – Laura Kennelly, Cool Cleveland
  • If you need an elixir for seasonal melancholy or a boost of holiday cheer, Syracuse Stage offers a spiced punch of a show with an exuberant and spectacular retelling of Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. This all-new production invigorates the classic tale with original music, lavish costumes, jaunty dancing and dazzling acrobatics while maintaining the story’s Victorian charm. ... A Christmas Carol is bursting with warmth, fun and convivial delight. It is holiday entertainment for the whole family.

    – Dan and Julie Izzo, BroadwayWorld
  • Stage has taken an adaptation by Richard Hellesen and David de Berry, and created a whole new “Carol” under the direction of Melissa Rain Anderson that retains all the good stuff that Dickens provided all those years ago, yet reimagined it ... Who says “A Christmas Carol” has to be done the same old way as long as the “good stuff” is still there? And it is. In abundance. ...the three centerpieces of this well-worn tale, whether on the page, the stage, or on film, are the three ghost sequences, which are masterfully executed to great audio and visual effect, utilizing a variety of theatrical tricks from floating fog, to yawning graves, to loud blasts of sound.

    – Tony Curulla,
  • Opinion: Syracuse Stage’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ fit for the NYC stage

    It was one of the best plays, if not the best, I’ve seen in my 30 years of attending Syracuse Stage. Those local people who put this together, and the fantastic 37 cast members from Ebenezer Scrooge to Tiny Tim, caused me to wonder if we’d been transported to Broadway. While the actors did their parts superbly, all the people behind the scenes created an environment that absolutely fit the theme of the story. It was a total standing ovation when the final curtain came. A very good start to our Christmas season.

    – Michael P. McCabe,
  • As director Melissa Rain Anderson states in her director’s note, “only a live performance can truly grasp the heartbeat of the events depicted. Even if you are familiar with Murder on the Orient Express, there are so many sly nuances woven throughout that you cannot help but be swept away into this beloved caper. Time is compressed and it’s a race to the finish line to solve the case.” I have rarely seen a director hit their own target with such precision... It is a credit to Anderson’s cohesive treatment of the production that the cast and crew put together such a potent show.

    – Scott Savage, Utah Theatre Bloggers
  • PTC’s “Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express” is a comedic delight...The superb performances and skilled stagecraft elevate the production to stand alongside the company’s finest works...Director Melissa Rain Anderson establishes a delightful pace, never skipping a beat. Without ever allowing the silly to overtake the serious, it’s the only time we leave an Agatha Christie play with a wide smile.

    – Blair Howell, Q Salt Lake Magazine
  • Director Melissa Rain Anderson does a masterful job of creating a suspenseful atmosphere. The play is well-paced, and the tension builds steadily as Poirot unravels the mystery. Anderson’s direction is sharp. She allows each character to shine, never letting the mystery get lost in the constant barrage of personalities. With so many people in such a small space, it is easy to muddle and confuse, but Anderson’s style is punctuated with clarity. What makes her direction remarkable is her attention to detail. Like Poirot, she focuses on the little things to create something exquisite. As the play progresses to its end, Anderson keeps the experience engaging and engrossing.

    – Jason Hagey and Alisha Hagey, Front Row Reviewers
  • Pioneer Theatre’s ‘Murder on the Orient Express’ a first class ride:
    It’s a credit to Melissa Rain Anderson, who is making her PTC directorial debut, that the performances of all 10 actors are not at all upstaged by the lavish look of the show. It is truly an ensemble cast; there’s a particular rhythm to the play, almost as if the actors are performing a symphony. They appear to be a diverse group, with nothing in common… but of course, in Christie’s world, nothing is ever as it seems.

    – Daisy Blake, Gephardt Daily
  • Dial M for Murder
    • Dial M for Murder

    • Dial M for Murder
    • TheatreSquared
    • By Frederick Knott
    • Adapted for the stage by Jeffrey Hatcher
    • August 18- Sept 10

    • EXTENDED through September 17!
  • TheatreSquared’s production of “Dial M for Murder” was not one to miss. The play that inspired Alfred Hitchcock’s 1954 movie of the same name consistently had audiences on the edge of their seats. ...The cast brilliantly brings a classic play with a twist to the stage. Laughs were a constant throughout the production, thanks to their impeccable comedic timing. No secret was ever revealed to the audience before it was meant to. They kept the suspense up the entire show.

    – Phoebe Lowe, The Arkansas Traveler
  • The charge of this play, and the cast in OU's Drama Department, is to show her humanity and make a larger-than-life historical figure feel relatable. Led by guest director Melissa Rain Anderson, the cast accomplishes just that.

    – Adrienne Proctor, Broadway World
  • Syracuse Stage’s “The Little Mermaid” is a must-sea holiday show. ... aerial acrobatics, vivacious performances, and stunning costumes... The bubbly spirit of the show is also due to the outstanding performances that are anything but two-dimensional. Emerson’s silly and awkward performance feels accurate to a 16-year-old girl (fish?) experiencing first love while also creating an arc of naivety to a girl who can save herself.

    – Joyelle Ronan, The News House

Selected Work