BA Theater, George Mason University
MFA Theatre Pedagogy with a concentration in directing, Virginia Commonwealth University
PhD Theatre with a focus on acting theory, University of Oregon.
Equity Member Candidate, as well as an active member of the Voice and Speech Trainers’ Association
Melissa Hurt is an actress and certified trainer in Arthur Lessac’s voice, speech and movement work and was the last trainer personally certified by Mr. Lessac before his passing. Melissa has taught Lessac workshops at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festivals in Regions I and II, the University of Mary Washington, Hostos Community College in the Bronx, and for The Actor’s Center in Washington DC. She was a guest teacher of the Lessac work at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney (Australia’s premier acting conservatory) in Summer 2011.
Melissa taught Voice I and Voice II at George Mason University for five years before relocating to Delmar, NY is 2017. The Lessac Institute has named Melissa as one of five trainers that is “the future” of the Lessac work. Melissa has performed onstage in the DC metro area with Everyman Theatre, Theater of the First Amendment, Red Eye Gravy Theatre Company, Wayward Theatre Company, and made several industrial films for various studios.
She has been a vocal coach and text coach for Brave Spirits Theatre Company and Red Eye Gravy Theatre Company in Washington DC. Melissa currently freelances as a performance coach for individuals and corporations and works as a certified yoga teacher (CYT 500 hours) at yoga studios across Albany and Delmar. Melissa published Arthur Lessac’s Embodied Actor Training with Routledge in 2014 and enjoyed a paperback release in 2017. She is currently under contract for a picture book titled I Am the Jungle: A Yoga Adventure with Sounds True that will be released in Spring 2020.