“When I told Adrianne Harrop that I was thinking of getting my MFA, she said, ‘Oh! I’ve got all these ideas and schools for you to consider. We should definitely talk.’ ”
“I love my Theatre class at SMC, and I’m very excited about all the programs they offer and all the expansion going on,” says Melissa Anderson. “I think it’s a very healthy atmosphere to be in.” A graduate of USC, Melissa knows whereof she speaks when she says ‘healthy atmosphere.’ “The reason that I’m now at SMC is because I work for a nonprofit whose offices are here. It’s called Sustainable Works, and we work with students, city residents, and businesses to show them how they can reduce their resource use and their waste. The environment is just something I’ve always felt passionately about.”
When last seen, however, Melissa was involved in her other passion—the one she has her degree in from USC: Theatre. “Yeah, I was rehearsing a scene from “Romeo and Juliet” with my study partner. And that class is great because it’s something USC never offered. It’s called Historical Styles, and we explore period pieces rather than basic realism or modern American theatre. I’m learning a whole new way to broaden my experience in theatre.” And when Melissa speaks of the theatre, there’s almost a reverence in her voice for the place it has—or
have—in people’s lives.
“I really love the whole collaborative aspect of theatre, especially local theatre which is good for any community,” she explains. “I like that feeling of engaging with the audience, but I also enjoy supporting all parts of the production: the lighting, the sound. In theatre—more so than in film—it all depends on everyone coming together like a family. And although my focus has been on being an actor,” says Melissa, “I might one day start my own company. Drama, I think, is food for the soul.”