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Melissa Lusher , M.F.A.

Melissa Lusher

Associate Professor , Director of B.F.A. Acting Program; Resident Speech/Dialects Coach; Workshop and Advanced Directing Coordinator
Department of
Theatre and Dance

p/ 614.823.1620
e/ MLusher@Otterbein.edu
Office: Cowan Hall 036A


  • M.F.A. in Acting, Carnegie Mellon University and The Moscow Art Theatre, 1997
  • B.F.A. in Acting, Carnegie Mellon University, 1993

Research & Teaching Interests

  • Stanislavsky
  • Michael Chekhov acting technique
  • Laban
  • Speech
  • Dialects and Accents
  • International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)
  • Self-discipline in actor training (including self-motivation and initiative, time management, preparation, ensemble-focus, reflection, and self-assessment

Affiliations & Awards

  •  Nominated for Otterbein's Master Teacher of the Year in 2017
  • Directorial debut production of "Spring Awakening" named one of the Best Ten Productions of 2012 by the Columbus Dispatch
  • Member of VASTA (Voice and Speech Trainers Association)
  • Andrew Carnegie Society Scholar

Personal Biography

Melissa Lusher is a tenured Associate Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Otterbein University where she teaches acting, speech, and dialects.  Additionally, she serves as the Director of the B.F.A. Acting program, the resident Speech and Dialects Coach for all productions, and the Workshop/Advanced Directing Coordinator.  Melissa holds an M.F.A. in Acting from the combined program of Carnegie Mellon University and The Moscow Art Theatre in Russia, and a B.F.A. in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University.  She was a founding company member of the American Studio Theatre in New York City where she performed in numerous productions and also served as the company’s resident Voice and Speech Coach.  

Melissa made her directorial debut in 2012 with a production of SPRING AWAKENING which was honored as one of the Best Ten Productions of 2012 by the Columbus Dispatch.  Other directing credits include THE CRUCIBLE, RENT, THE GREEKS: THE MURDERS, NO EXIT, THE NERD, and the world-premiere of INVENTION OF THEATER (written by Otterbein alumnus, Sean Murphy).

Melissa regularly serves as a dialect coach for area theatre companies and universities.  Notable dialect coaching credits include HAND TO GOD and THE IRISH CURSE at Short North Stage, THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL and THE BEAUX' STRATAGEM at Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, HOMEBODY/KABUL at Denison University, HAY FEVER at Abbey Theatre of Dublin, and NOISES OFF at Ohio Wesleyan University.

Some of Melissa’s favorite acting credits include Martha in WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF (Otterbein Theatre), Barbara in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (Otterbein Theatre), Marina in VOLODYA (LaMama E.T.C.), Lucy in Nilo Cruz’s GRAFITTI (Carnegie Mellon Showcase of New Plays), Goneril in KING LEAR (Actors’ Theatre of Columbus), Margaret in RICHARD III (AST), Emilia in OTHELLO (AST), Clytemnestra in THE GREEKS (Moscow Art Theatre), and Patty in the film BLIND SPOT starring Joanne Woodward and Laura Linney.

Melissa was nominated for Otterbein's Master Teacher of the Year in 2017 and is currently pursuing Teacher Certification in the Michael Chekhov acting technique through the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium.

/ Office of Academic Affairs

The Office of Academic Affairs is located in Roush Hall, 27 S. Grove St.

Office Hours

M-F: 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

p / 614.823.1556

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