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
- Marie Antoinette
- Helmerich School of Drama
The University of Oklahoma
- Lauren Gunderson
- Opens April 21, 2023
- ASF's ‘Marvelous Wonderettes’ lives up to its title
“The Marvelous Wonderettes” is a warm-hearted, good-time musical of exquisite simplicity.
The cast sings and dances so well (Director Melissa Rain Anderson shines not just as a director but for her choreography) that the production probably could have succeeded simply as a review, but it doesn’t have to.
Believe the title — the Wonderettes are marvelous.
– Rick Harmon, The Montgomery Advisor
- Director and choreographer Melissa Rain Anderson sets a lively pace throughout, and challenges the four actors to give it their all over the two acts.... It's non-stop entertainment of dozens of songs interspersed with laughter and tears as they discover and develop their friendships over time.
– Michael P. Howley, theatremontgomery
Three bold actors bathed in brooding light and soundwork take charge of the outdoor stage in Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s ingenious production of RII, a compressed adaptation by Jessica Kubzansky of Shakespeare’s King Richard the Second.– Christina Waters, Good Times
The effect is by turns brilliant and surprising. Hearing Shakespeare explore the power of the English language makes RII a mesmerizing experience.
The actors move fluidly in and out of their various parts, bodying forth all the intrigue, allegiance, and plotting that will launch the Hundred Years War. Thanks to intelligent direction by Melissa Rain Anderson, we are never in any doubt as to who’s who...
Fine acting and inspired light and soundwork keep the various flashbacks moving swiftly, interweaving the doomed Richard and his chequered past into a shimmering organism.
RII is worth its weight in dramatic gold. Skillful acting, pliant adaptation, and the exciting stagecraft we’ve come to expect of Santa Cruz Shakespeare.
The romantic tale of a forbidden love comes to life with a fresh take on the characters, time period, and costumes. The result is intriguing and captivating...Redhouse's Romeo and Juliet, under the creative direction of Melissa Rain Anderson, is refreshing from the casting choices to the setting and especially the line delivery. It is a beautiful, thought-provoking, and creative production of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.– Natasha Ashley, Broadway World
Under Anderson’s direction, the show moves across the thrust-styled stage with real grace and urgency.– Len Fonte, Syracuse.com
...a captivating and raw production of Sarah DeLappe's The Wolves under the impressive direction of Melissa Rain Anderson.– Natasha Ashley, BroadwayWorld - Central New York
...because the dialogue is so sharp, authentic, and kinetic I quickly got caught up in the girls’ stories/lives. Of course it helps that the play is smashingly well acted by an incredible ensemble and directed brilliantly by Melissa Rain Anderson. ...take my word go see it. It’s a knockout.– Craig Thornton, WWNY 7News
“All Is Calm” uses an incredibly talented 10-man cast to tell this story with powerful simplicity and subtle beauty. The fine acting and Anderson’s direction adds depth to the story and a bittersweet quality to the Christmas miracle.– Rick Harmon, Montgomery Adviser
As a lament to this loss of life and dignity, this production directed by Melissa Rain Anderson stuns her audiences with its simple messages and warnings. The richness of four-part men's harmonies, and the quality of individual voices [“O Holy Night“, for example], stress the senselessness of war, a potent theme of All is Calm that leaves a lasting memory.– Michael P. Howley, Theatre Montgomery