Melissa Crespo is a New York-based director of theater, opera, film and television. She is most passionate about collaborating with playwrights. She has developed new work at: The Lark, Atlantic Theatre Company, Two River Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre, Ars Nova, Labyrinth Theatre Company and more.
Recent credits include: In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin McCraney (Columbia Grad Acting), graveyard shift by Korde Arrington Tuttle (San Francisco Playhouse); Pedro Pan by Rebecca Aparicio & Stephen Elkins (NYMF); In the Blue Hour by Martina Potratz (Lil’ Explosions); Brother Toad by Nathan Louis Jackson (Kansas City Repertory Theatre); The Review or How to Eat Your Opposition by Donnetta Lavinia Grays (WP Theatre); and eat and you belong to us by mj kauffman (NYU Tisch).
She is most known for ¡Figaro! (90210) which had it's world premiere at LA Opera and performed twice Off-Broadway at The Duke on 42nd Street. Other operas include the undiscovered masterpiece Voodoo, a Harlem Renaissance opera by H. Lawrence Freeman that "soared" according to The Guardian. Produced by Morningside Opera, Harlem Opera Theater and the Harlem Chamber Players, the NY Times wrote that "the revival offers a glimpse of a nearly forgotten chapter of African-American operatic achievement."
Melissa also directed the most recent incarnation of Tar Baby written and performed by Desiree Burch with Dan Kitrosser. Hailed as one of Huffington Post's 'Favorite Female Comedians," Tar Baby was awarded the prestigious Scotsman Fringe First at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has since had productions in London, New Zealand and Finland.
Melissa has served as a 2016-2018 Time Warner Fellow at WP Theater (formerly The Women's Project), the Allen Lee Hughes Directing Fellow at Arena Stage, Van Lier Directing Fellow at Second Stage Theatre and is an alum of the Drama League. She is a Usual Suspect at New York Theatre Workshop and received her MFA in Directing from The New School for Drama.
Read her interview with playwright Sarah Ruhl in American Theater Magazine about The Oldest Boy Benefit for Nepal.