She's kind of a clever cat...
Melanie Heard is the Artistic Director / Founder of C.R.O.W. (Children's Repertory of OR Workshops), co-owner of Poison Pen Players, and an experienced Director/Choreographer/Performer on both the professional musical theatre and dance performance circuits. Melanie has choreographed and / or directed over 60 full-scale musical theatre productions, and countless award-winning dance competition / concert pieces. Onstage, she has played many roles, from a tap-dancing showgirl in "Crazy For You," to Sally Bowles in "Cabaret," to the title role in "Evita." She has traveled across the United States to either judge or provide innovative choreography for dancers in festivals, competitions, concerts, and much more. Melanie has "bumped off a heck of a lot of people" while directing and/or performing with her family Murder Mystery company, Poison Pen Players throughout the USA. She also handles the graphic design, marketing, social media, and theatrical production side of her many creative endeavors. Melanie currently resides on the exquisite Oregon Coast with her wonderful husband and beautiful daughter, plus her two wicked kitties of course.
Education & Awards
Melanie is a Paul Harris Fellowship Award winner, from the Florence Rotary Club. She is a two time nominee for the Register Guard's "Innovation and Talent Award," and helped to guide C.R.O.W. to win the Florence Chamber of Commerce "Nonprofit Achievement Award." Melanie's creative vision received high honors when her staging of the "Wilkommen" sequence in "Cabaret" was performed as an "opening sequence" for the 2003 American College Theatre Festival Scene competition. Melanie has received several prestigious awards for her choreography, including an American College Theatre Festival "Meritorious Achievement Award for Outstanding Choreography." (Melanie was the first undergraduate choreographer at her University to receive this honor in over 15 years!) Mrs. Heard currently holds a degree in Musical Theatre from California State University, Fullerton, an Oregon Teaching Credential with CLAD and a Masters in Education (MAed) with a Reading Specialist Certificate.
For a choreography demo video, CLICK HERE.
Melanie's extensive dance training stems from the genre of classical ballet, although she is well versed in all styles, including jazz, tap, lyrical, swing, salsa, musical theatre, and period work. In 1991, Melanie studied with Mr. John Magnus at the intensive Joffrey Ballet Trainee program. Later that year, Ms. Jacobson accepted a full scholarship to the brand new Universal Ballet Academy in Washington D.C., a prestigious establishment operated by the Kirov Ballet of Russia. At U.B.A., Melanie had the opportunity to perform alongside the young stars of the Kirov Ballet, and to study with Oleg Vinogradov, Yelena Vinogradova, Nikolai Morozov, and Ludmila Morkovina. Melanie has also studied with such well-known ballet companies as the Houston Ballet and Ballet West. Mrs. Heard's dance training throughout the years has included Broadway-style tap with Kris Timmons (original choreographer for Disney's Kids of the Kingdom), musical theatre dance with Sha Newman (well-known regional Equity stage director / choreographer) and jazz with Lara Teeter (from the original production of "On your Toes"). She recently attended the Broadway Teacher's Workshop in New York, and was thrilled to learn original choreography from the Broadway hit, "Mean Girls" taught by Brendan Stimson. Melanie founded and directs the C.R.O.W. "Flight" Dance Team, which can be viewed HERE.
Adjudication and Teaching
Melanie taught first grade for six years. She taught for four years at a prestigious fine and performing arts magnet in Los Angeles. In LA, she was responsible for choreographing the winter and spring dance productions for the entire magnet first grade. Melanie was a national and regional adjudicator for five different dance competitions. Mrs. Heard also enjoyed giving back to her hometown community by donating her time as a volunteer judge for the local talent competition. Melanie currently holds an OR teaching credential.
For more info, please visit the website for C.R.O.W. or Poison Pen Players.
Jewelry Design, Creative Arts, & Photography
In her spare time, Melanie enjoys photography and creating clever and unusual jewelry and purses. You can see her snazzy, available designs on her SHOP pages. Melanie hopes you'll find something to make your day a bit more glamorous!
Melanie absolutely loves her two wicked kitties,
Jasper and Pearl. They are often the inspiration
behind her creative endeavors.
In Memory of Our Past Wicked Kitties
They have crossed the rainbow bridge, but will never be forgotten.