I am a Cleveland based Theatre artist with a focus on directing, acting, writing, and arts education. I care deeply about the role of art in community development. I truly believe in art as a vehicle for social change. When I'm not working on a project, I love reading, travel, connecting with friends, and the oh so rare mornings when I can relax with a really good cup of coffee in a quiet space.

Empathy and the human spirit.

Balance.

We will always have a place if we are good, and if we're needed. Be good and be needed. There is no period of fashion for good: It is eternal. There is a place--there will always be a place--for art that is done well and purely.

Teachers. The people who find the strength everyday to get up and fight to make a difference through educating the future. I have spent a lot of time in classrooms throughout my career, and the spirit of these leaders never fails to leave me in awe. They are not celebrated for their efforts but find purpose and fulfillment in small and important victories they see within their students. It is heroic and inspiring.

Authenticity.

If I were to identify a backup career, surely it would be the end of my artistic career. Sometimes the only way for me to continue being an artist is to know that for me, there is no other career. It is what I love.

Playing music with my father growing up.

I would want to plant the seeds of empathy and understanding. The importance of seeing what we share as humans. I would hope to continue to bridge the divide of "us vs. them", and move towards the collective "we".

Melissa hasn't saved anything yet.