Melissa is a storyteller, puppeteer and teaching artist. Primarily driven by the narrative she believes "There is a story for whatever ails ya!" She has been teaching the arts for 12 years and has earned her BA in Theater and Master's degree in Education.
She is the founder of Dancing Lantern, a theatrical company whose mission is to bring shadow puppetry to audiences. After studying the art of puppet-making with geniuses Basil Twist, Emily De Cola and Kevin Augustine, she has performed the styles of pageant, mask, Bunraku, marionette, hand and rod and shadow puppetry for various theater companies throughout NYC.
Recently Melissa was awarded a 2013-2014 New York State Council on the Arts grant to create an interactive puppet show that is possible to participate in regardless of spoken language. She was also one of the few selected to partake in the prestigious Artist's Summer Institute 2014, a joint endeavor by Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Creative Capital that teaches professional development for artists.
She has been teaching the arts and introducing the stories of many cultures to the students at MKD Summer & Holiday Camps for more than two years. As if it wasn't enough being talented in the arts and storytelling, she is also crafty with science, from building her own LED circuitry into her shadow puppet shows to teaching hands-on science activities!