Melissa Lusher

Melissa Lusher



Cowan Hall 036A

Department of Theatre & Dance

Melissa Lusher is a tenured Professor in the Department of Theatre and Dance where she teaches acting, speech, and dialects. She serves as the Associate Chair of the Department, the Director of the B.F.A. Acting program, the Resident Speech and Dialects Coach, and the Workshop/Advanced Directing Coordinator. In 2018, Melissa was honored with Otterbein’s Teacher of the Year award. She is a certified teacher of the Michael Chekhov acting technique through the Great Lakes Michael Chekhov Consortium. Favorite directing credits at Otterbein include SPRING AWAKENING, THE CRUCIBLE, “MASTER HAROLD”… AND THE BOYS, RENT, THE GREEKS: THE MURDERS, RUMORS, 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 theatres including CATCO, Short North Stage, Actors’ Theatre of Columbus, Abbey Theatre of Dublin, Denison University, and Ohio Wesleyan. Some of her favorite acting credits include Martha in WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (Otterbein), Barbara in AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY (Otterbein), Marina in VOLODYA (La MaMa), Goneril in KING LEAR (Actors’ Theatre of Columbus), Margaret in RICHARD III (AST), Clytemnestra in THE GREEKS (Moscow Art Theatre), and Patty in the film BLIND SPOT (starring Joanne Woodward and Laura Linney). Melissa holds an M.F.A. in Acting from Carnegie Mellon University and the Moscow Art Theatre and a B.F.A. in Acting from Carnegie Mellon.


  • M.F.A. in Acting, Carnegie Mellon University and The Moscow Art Theatre, 1997
  • B.F.A. in Acting, Carnegie Mellon University, 1993
  • Research, Creative, & Professional Work

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

  • Otterbein University's 2018 Teacher of the Year
  • 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