Dr Melanie Andrews is one of those rare African Americans who has directed, performed in, or designed every single Shakespeare Play, including TIMON OF ATHENS and CORIOLANUS.
Her love for Shakespeare started as a child when her mother would read Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s dream to her at bedtime. “The beauty of the language and the grace of the stories captivated me. I never stopped loving Shakespeare.”
As an adult she continued her romance with Shakespeare by majoring in theater in college and receiving several advanced degrees in literature, theater and design from major universities including the University of Southern California. She has also studied Shakespeare in action at the famed Ashland Shakespeare Festival. This summer she was invited to be part of a fellowship program for theater Educators at Juilliard School in New York City .
She has divided her theatrical career between acting, teaching and directing. She directed over 100 plays in high schools, college and regional theaters. She has received dozens of awards for excellence in directing, including Best Director Award from the prestigious International Youth theater Association. Additionally she was named Theater Teacher of the year by the California Theater Teachers Association and the State of California.
Some of her numerous awards include: California. Educational Theater Association. Fall Festival Best ensemble- POSITIVE SECRETS. Best Actor. Javier Barbosa; Drama Teachers of SoCal. Bronze Award for dramatic Scene Ceta. Multicultural award for excellence; World literacy Crusade. Community Service Award; UN award for supporting Human Rights for women; Governors award for. educational theater excellence; LAUSD awards for excellence in theater; CalState. Theater Competition. at Long Beach State University – Best Monologue. Both. first and Second Place; Best Dramatic. scene. first place International youth theater Association. 10 awards for excellence for Production of ZOOT SUIT.
As Artistic Director of Inner City Shakespeare Ensemble she is dedicated to ensuring that inner city kids have the opportunity to learn and perform Shakespeare with the same love that has lighted her life.