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

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  • 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!
  • 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
  • With impeccable direction and a superb cast, this historical drama is receiving a superb production from The Phoenix Theatre Company. ...Under Melissa Rain Anderson's expert direction, the cast create realistic characters full of nuance and dimension. There is a wonderful combination of drama and humor in the play, and all cast members do a fine job navigating their way through the requirements of the piece without their performances ever seeming unnatural or too over the top. Anderson has staged the piece expertly, with great use of Douglas Clarke's gorgeous, multi-layered wooden set. The rest of the creative elements are also top-notch, including Ashley Gamba's beautiful, period-perfect costumes and Nathaniel White's evocative lighting.

    – Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway
  • Lauren Gunderson’s cleverly witty “The Book of Will” provides a fascinating scenario for how the plays were retained and a solid Phoenix Theatre Company staging keeps audiences entertained with comic portrayals of Shakespeare’s acting colleagues who decided to preserve the works after the playwright’s death. Gunderson has added enough contemporary wit to keep things light but thought-provoking. ...presented with a nimble and exuberant farcical style imposed on these clever actors by director Melissa Rain Anderson.

    – Chris Curcio, Curtain Up Phoenix

Selected Work