MELIA BENSUSSEN has directed extensively around the country since 1984, including productions at the Huntington Theatre, Merrimack Rep, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Center Stage, Hartford Stage Company, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Manhattan Class Company, Primary Stages, the Long Wharf Theatre, Cincinnati Playhouse, Actors Theatre of Louisville (Humana Festival), People’s Light and Theatre Company (where she received a Barrymore nomination for Best Direction), Bay Street, and Playwrights Horizons.
Her highly regarded work with new plays has taken her to the O’Neill Theater Center, New York Stage and Film/Powerhouse, the Midwest Playlabs/The Playwrights Center, and other new play programs across the U.S. Ongoing collaborations with playwrights include such wonderful writers as Kirsten Greenidge, Annie Baker, Mat Smart, Ken Urban, Masha Obolensky, Jeffrey Hatcher, Lee Blessing, Richard Dresser, Willy Holtzman, Edwin Sanchez, Y York, and Jose Rivera, among others.
Raised in Mexico City, Melia is fluent in Spanish and has translated and adapted a variety of texts. Her edition of the Langston Hughes translation of Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding is now in its eighth printing by Theatre Communications Group.
Besides winning the OBIE award for Outstanding Direction, Melia was twice given Directing Awards by the Princess Grace Foundation, USA, including their top honor, the Statuette Award for Sustained Excellence in Directing. She is featured in Women Stage Directors Speak by Rebecca Daniels (McFarland and Co.), and in Nancy Taylor’s Women Direct Shakespeare (Fairleigh Dickinson University Press). Her essay on Merchant of Venice was recently published in Jews, Theatre, Performance in an Intercultural Context by Brill Publishing.
A graduate of Brown University, Melia served for over a decade as the Chair of the Performing Arts Department at Emerson College in Boston, and currently is the Chair of the Arts Advisory Board of the Princess Grace Foundation. She also Serves on the SDC Executive Board.
Melia is the Artistic Director of Hartford Stage, in Hartford, CT.