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Melissa van der Schyff Biography
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Melissa is currently reprising her role as "Blanche Barrow" in the new Broadway musical BONNIE AND CLYDE at The Gerald Shoenfeld Theatre directed by Jeff Calhoun. Melissa originated the role of "Blanche" at the La Jolla Playhouse where she earned a San Diego Critic's Circle Award (Craig Noel Award, Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical) Melissa also played Blanche in the recent regional production of BONNIE AND CLYDE at The Asolo Theatre in Sarasota, Florida.
Along with her critically acclaimed portrayal of "Catherine" in the Deaf West/CTG production of PIPPIN at Los Angeles' premiere theatre The Mark Taper Forum, Melissa is best known for her role as Mary Jane in the 2003 Broadway revival of Deaf West's BIG RIVER, for which she and her cast mates received a 2004 Tony Honor for Excellence in Theatre.
Other Theatre Includes: "Mary Jane" in BIG RIVER (National Tour of U.S. and Japan); "Mary Jane" in BIG RIVER (Mark Taper Forum, Ahmanson Theatre & Deaf West Theatre); "Ginny" in POST OFFICE (by "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" composer Michael J. Friedman at The Kirk Douglas Theatre, Los Angeles); "Virginia/Clara" in AN ITALIAN STRAW HAT (World Premiere, South Coast Repertory Theatre); "Yelenka" in ZHIVAGO (World Premiere, La Jolla Playhouse); "Pud" in LAURA DENNIS (West Coast Premiere, Zephyr Theatre); "Kayla" in BALLAD (Ovation Nomination and Dramalogue Award, Theatre Geo, World Premiere, Los Angeles) and "The Gir"l in THE TRANSFIGURATION OF BENNO BLIMPIE (McCadden Place Theatre, Los Angeles) for which Entertainment Today named Melissa one of the top ten talents in L.A. to watch.
Melissa has appeared in numerous television and film roles, including A Lot Like Love, the leading role of "Mary" in the Showtime original movie The Great Commission, a series regular in Jason Alexander's improv. comedy pilot The Whitey Show, "Tina Corso" in the tv series Chicago Hope and as herself in Broadway the Movie. Melissa was most recently hired as a voice over artist on the new Muppets Movie The Muppets playing various roles and the voice of "Lily" for the FOX animated pilot presentation Family Band.
As a comedienne and sketch writer, Melissa was cast as a series regular to be one of the new generation of National Lampoon's Lemmings following in the footsteps of comedians like John Belushi, Christopher Guest and Chevy Chase, who all started out as "Lemmings." She is known for her impressions of celebrities such as Celine Dion, Nicole Kidman, Dolly Parton, Hillary Swank and for many original characters.
As a voice over artist, Melissa played multiple characters on the popular kids Radio Series Bedtime for Barney. Melissa has been creating lovable characters for the highly successful online animated greeting card company Rubber Chicken Cards for over 10 years, and has a loyal fan base around the world. Melissa also works for American Greetings and has done many spots as a studio singer over the years, including the Jingle for Pay Per View television. Most recently Melissa recorded the voice of "Lily" for the FOX animated pilot presentation Family Band and performed various voices for the new Muppet movie The Muppets. Melissa is thrilled to have worked on the new iPAD app for kids entitled "A Frog he would a wooing go."
Melissa is also an award winning songwriter and was voted "Artist of The Year" on Femmusic.com. She has licensed songs for tv and film including the feature film The Legend of Tillamook's Gold and Showtime's The Great Commission and was nominated for an INDEPENDENT MUSIC AWARD for her single DIVINE. In Canada Melissa was a finalist for the YTV (Youth TV) Awards in the Vocalist Category, Received a General Motors Award of Excellence for Outstanding Jazz Vocals and has performed live on CBC Radio.
Melissa received her B.F.A. in Acting with a minor in Music at The College of Santa Fe in New Mexico (now Santa Fe University of Art and Design) as well as studying at The British American Drama Academy in London.
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