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

Upcoming Work

Recent Work

  • 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
  • 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.

    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.

    – Christina Waters, Good Times

Selected Work