Melissa plays the eponymous lead in Ernaline, a short film written and directed by Vanesa Stoynova. The film was entirely shot in Boston, MA and will be released in 2021.
Arts for Immigrants
In August, the head of the USCIS misquoted the words to the poem "Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor", which is part of a systematic effort to make immigration into the US harder and to damage the image of immigrants across the country.
Assaf Gleizner (Grammy award nominee and composer of The Office - A Musical Parody) is the producer and arranger for this project. He selected a group of artists from all over the globe, hoping to give an accurate representation of immigrants in the US in 2019 through a series of interviews and a filmed performance of the songs "Give me your tired, your poor" and " God Bless America".
Men On Boats
The Powell Geographic Expedition of 1869 was the first recorded passage of white men through the entirety of the Grand Canyon. A century-and-a-half later, playwright Jaclyn Backhaus wrote Men on Boats, the true(ish) story of the expedition ... with a twist:
" The characters in MEN ON BOATS were historically cisgender white males. The cast should be made up entirely of people who are not. I'm talking about racially diverse actors who are female-identifying, trans-identifying, genderfluid, and/or non-gender conforming. "
Ten explorers. Four boats. One Grand Canyon. Thingamajig theatre Company kicks off the 2019-2020 Fall/Winter Season by launching its own production of Backhaus’ Men on Boats directed by Melissa Firlit.
Entrepreneur Attitude Interview
French journalist David Penneteau talked with Melissa about her life as a performer in New York City and her integration in the US.
Melissa plays the supporting role of Max in Queens Keep, an upcoming romantic drama film written by Shacity Cambridge and produced by City Dreams Media. The film is set to be released at the end of the year!
A Change in Me
A beautiful arrangement by Assaf Gleizner of the song "A Change in Me" from the musical Beauty and the Beast.
In late January, we gathered (and didn't think twice about it at the time) with talented members of the Arts for Immigrants community to record this three part harmony arrangement of the song. Some verses were translated and performed in the singers' first languages.
Performed by: Assaf Gleizner (Piano, from Israel); Gara Roce (Singer, from Spain); Jessica Rookeward (Singer, from Australia and Melissa Melendez (Singer, from France).
2019 Playwrights Festival
The 2019 PSCA playwrights festival is headlined by After Owen and See in the Dark by Jay Koepke and Heidi Kraayy: Two award-winning playwrights who will see their work on stage for the first time, will rewrite and fine tune as they learn more about their scripts by watching them come to life. Additional plays: Adrift ; The Oak Tree by Jay Koepke and How to Hide your Monster by Heidi Kraay.
With a Song in my Fists
An homage to the 1930’s movie musicals and an all around hilarious new show written by Todd Michael. Melissa plays a variety of characters (7 actors play 25 characters in this show) and takes on the role of Dance Captain for this production playing Off-Broadway at Theatre Row.
The Little Mermaid
Melissa is joining AlphaNYC and plays the supporting role of Aruba in The Little Mermaid by Kathryn Schultz Miller. This family production runs in February at The Producer’s Club.