Melissa Weaver


Melissa Weaver

direction, dramaturgy, lighting & stage design

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Co-Director of First Look Sonoma with partner John Duykers, Weaver has been an enthusiastic advocate of the ‘new and unusual’ in vocal performance arts for over three decades. In collaboration with writers, composers, performers and designers, her directorial approach stems from a dramaturgical underpinning to address urgent cultural issues.

The award-winning Serial Murderess is among Weaver’s seven collaborations with writer/performer Amanda Moody, which also include Paul Dresher and Rinde Eckert’s Awed Behavior, composer Miguel Frasconi’s Trespass Knot; The Winchester Rosary with Joël Lindheimer; Bitter Harvest, a farmer’s oratorio, with Kurt Rhode and the Berkeley Symphony; with Jay Cloidt on D’Arc, woman on fire, and Caliban Dreams with Clark Suprynowicz and West Edge Opera.

Weaver has directed the collaborative creation of more than forty original opera/stage works, many featuring tenor John Duykers, and is currently developing Max Duykers’ and Philip Kan Gotanda’s Both Eyes Open – to premiere in 2017. She recently co-created Edith Piaf – Beneath Paris Skies at Cinnabar Theater and Miguel Frasconi’s Hand to Mouth at Main Stage West.

Other premieres include Rinde Eckert’s The Gardening of Thomas D. and Dry Land Divine, Paul Dresher’s The Tyrant; Erling Wold’s Sub Pontio Pilato and Mordake; Randall Packer’s A Season in Hell; Lisa Scola-Prosek’s Daughter of the Red Tzar; Virko Baley’s Holodomor in Kiev/NY and Not Medea at the Cornelia Street Café/NY.

Weaver was a founding member of George Coates Performance Works and a long-time member of the Paul Dresher Ensemble creating new works such as SlowFire, Power Failure, Pioneer and Ravenshead. She was Artist-in-Residence at California Institute of the Arts co-creating five original pastiche-operas with students. Originally from Houston and a devoted student of Chris Wilson’s Studio 7, Weaver graduated magna cum laude from San Diego’s USIU School of Performing & Visual Arts.