"What is art but a way of seeing?" ~ Saul Bellow
Melody Erfani is a Portland, OR & NYC based theatre director specializing in new works and classical adaptations. Originally from Dallas, Texas, raised in an Iranian-American family within a diverse community, her fascination with other people’s cultures and customs was sparked from birth.
Her thirst for knowledge and experience led her to study aboard in London, England where she procured an internship with Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. There her fascination for imbibing classical pieces with new life was inflamed. Living in London allowed her accessibility to travel throughout Europe and embedded a deep love for travel. Since then she has actively pursued a cross-cultural education. She has traveled extensively across Europe, South America and Africa. She flourishes when exposed to the art, perspectives, and challenges of other countries and cultures.
In 2009, she returned back to school to receive her MFA in Directing at the Actors Studio Drama School. While finishing her degree she also produced and directed a new work that had a successful run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She further developed her artistic voice in 2013 as a participant of the Lincoln Center Director’s Lab.
She founded Lower East Side Shakespeare Co. in 2014, a non-profit theatre company dedicated to reaching the LES community and promoting classics to be accessible to all. She has been directing with LES Shakespeare Co. and other companies loves infusing classics with movement and music. She is passionate about developing new works and received a HB Residency in 2017 and a First Stage Drama Arts League Residency in 2019.
As an artistic leader she brings people together, shapes ideas, and creates a context for new understanding. She establishes a supportive environment that enables actors to feel comfortable to explore choices and facilitates collaboration between all within a show. She has a cultivated eye for stage composition and strives to build tension between spectacle, heightened perspective and intimate relationships. She instills her work on classics and new plays with a strong sense of movement and rhythm.Melody is also a teaching artist, having worked as an acting coach for many years and at Stage Door Manor. She teaches classes in character development, viewpoints, Stanislavsky Method, text analysis, and audition techniques.