Melissa Charles, Artistic Director/Founder of DMR Adventures, is a professional actor, director, choreographer, and teacher, as well as a producer and consultant. A member of the Actors Equity Association (AEA) and SAG-AFTRA, she has worked as an actor in theatre, film, and television in NYC, LA and in regional theaters throughout the country. Melissa was the founder and Artistic Director of both the Broadway Adventure program and the Union Street Theatre (UST). She has taught workshops, classes, and coached actors for the International Thespian Festival, DMR Adventures, Broadway Adventure, UST, Live Arts, Lighthouse Studios, Peabody School, George Washington High School, Tandem Friends School, Charlottesville High School, and Chautauqua Institution. She has a certificate in Non-Profit Management from Duke and a B.A. in Drama from UVa. She has produced, directed and choreographed over 50 productions, and specializes in musical theatre.
Melissa’s most valued accomplishment is the creation of DMR’s Youth Leadership Program (YLP), through which dozens of students interested in a career in the performing arts have gained hands-on experience with professional mentors and have taken on artistic and technical responsibility in the production of youth-centered theatre and community engagement. Many students in the YLP program have returned to DMR to teach and direct, while others have gone on to professional careers in education and performing arts.
Melissa currently plays the role of Lydia Ketcham on the AMC television series, Turn: Washington’s Spies.