Melissa played the lead role of Blanche Barrow in the Broadway production of the musical, BONNIE AND CLYDE, at the Gerald Schoenfeld theatre in 2011. Her performance earned 2012 award nominations from both the Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.
She originated the role from the very first reading when only a
first act and a few songs had been written.
The show had its premiere in 2009 at the La Jolla Playhouse. Her
performance there earned a San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award: the
Craig Noel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.
Melissa went on to another critically acclaimed performance at the
Asolo Repertory Theatre in Sarasota, Florida in the Fall of 2010.
Bonnie and Clyde comes from the the creative team of Frank Wildhorn
(Jekyll & Hyde, Civil War, Dracula), Don Black (Sunset Boulevard,
Aspects of Love, Dracula) and Ivan Menchell (Chitty Chitty Bang
Bang)—with a thrilling new score that combines rockabilly, blues and
gospel music and is directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun
(Newsies, Big River, Pippin, Brooklyn.)
Melissa starred as Catherine in the critically acclaimed Center
Theatre Group/Deaf West Production of PIPPIN at The Mark Taper Forum.
Melissa starred on Broadway in the 2003 Tony Award Nominated Musical
Revival of BIG RIVER in the role of Mary Jane Wilkes for which she
received the prestigious Tony Honor for Special Achievement in Theatre
along with her castmates. Her vocals were compared to Dolly Parton for
her country number "You Oughta Be Here With Me" by the L.A.Times, New
York Times, Washington Post, Daily Variety and a host of other reviews,
confirming Melissa's ability to be a vocal chameleon.
Other theatre credits include originating the role of Kayla in the
World Premiere play BALLAD, for which she received a Dramalogue Award
and an Ovation Nomination. Melissa has appeared onstage at the South
Coast Repertory, originating the role of Virginia and Clara in The
World Premiere Musical AN ITALIAN STRAW HAT, at Center Theatre Group as
Ginny in the new musical workshop of POST OFFICE by Michael Friedman
and Melissa James Gibson and at The La Jolla Playhouse in the World
Premiere musical ZHIVAGO by Tony Award Nominee Lucy Simon.
Recent FILM credits include: Carol Martin in A LOT LIKE LOVE
starring Ashton Kutcher and Amanda Peet; the leading role of Mary in
Showtime's original movie THE GREAT COMMISSION; Marnie in the
Independent Short, SPEED DATING (Winner of the KODAK AFI Award); and
Salome in the Indie JOHNNY 316 starring Vincent Gallo (Sundance.)
Recent TV: Series Regular on the comedy pilot THE WHITEY SHOW,
produced by Seinfeld's Jason Alexander; Guest Star on CHICAGO HOPE and
LOVE AND MARRIAGE; and a series regular on the sketch comedy show
NATIONAL LAMPOON's LEMMINGS.
QUESTION—What do John Belushi, Christopher Guest, Chevy Chase and Melissa van der Schyff all have in common?
ANSWER—They all started out as NATIONAL LAMPOON LEMMINGS. Melissa
was recently cast as one of the new generation of Lemmings in the
sketch comedy show "National Lampoon's Lemmings". Melissa starred in
and wrote numerous sketches for the show as well as doing impressions
such as Nicole Kidman, Hilary Swank, Hilary Clinton, Katie Holmes, Amy
Winehouse, Suze Orman and more!
Melissa also filmed an all improv. comedy pilot for MTV called "THE WHITEY SHOW" which was produced by Seinfeld's Jason Alexander in which
she played Celine Dion.
Melissa was also a founding member of the improv. comedy troupe "THE IMPROMANIACS" which is based in Victoria B.C., Canada.
Melissa was born in South Africa, grew up in Victoria, B.C., Canada
and has lived in Los Angeles for the past 10 years. (She is legally
able to work in both Canada and the U.S.A.) Melissa holds a B.F.A. in
Acting and Music from The Santa Fe University of Art and Design
(formerly The College of Santa Fe) in New Mexico.
Melissa has worked as a voice over artist for RUBBER CHICKEN CARDS (Online Greetings) for the past 3 years creating a loyal following
around the world for her lovable and quirky characters including "The
Psychick" (Hip Gen X medium who delivers messages from the spirit
world), "The Flight Attendant" (cheery southern belle Jenny Sue offers
her passengers anything from Botox to Freeze Dried Roadkill), "Way Up
North's" Diane (a hermit environmentalist in The Frozen North who
delivers messages from her igloo via her Moose Cam).
Melissa has also written original scripts for the company. Her
Flight Attendant character "Jenny Sue" was featured on the the front
page of the L.A. Times Business Section along with an article about the
growing success of Rubber Chicken Cards.
Melissa also voiced several characters for the "Bedtime With Barney"
radio series (Cry Wolf Productions) including Gladys The Duck, Mama
Turtle and Clarissa the Fairy Godmother.
As a studio singer Melissa can be heard on dozens of promo spots,
most notably the jingle for PAY PER VIEW television. Melissa is also an
accomplished songwriter and is available to write in any genre from
jingles, to pop.
Her critically acclaimed debut pop album URBAN PEASANT is available at:
Melissa was voted "Artist of The Year" by fans across the world on
Femmusic.com (Women in Music) and her single DIVINE was featured in the
Showtime Original Movie THE GREAT COMMISSION for which she received an
Independent Music Award Nomination for "Best Song featured in Film or
Her singles DIVINE and I'M ALREADY GONE have received Triple A radio
play and are both currently featured in the upcoming Independent
Feature TILLAMOOK TREASURE which won "Best Family Film" at The Newport
Melissa van der Schyff © 2013