About the storyteller

Twisted yarns and tall tales!

Melissa is the fruit of an improbable union, that of a ravingly enthusiastic Irish American father and an Appalachian hillbilly mother. Growing up on the Chesapeake Bay, stories of Jesse James and the wild west mixed with tales of the witch of Pungo and Pocahontas. Her father delivered a good dose of lore on the Bean Sidhe and the fairy folk and her mother gave her colorful renditions of Brer’ rabbit and the jack tales. As a grown up (an impossibly serious thing) she obtained a BFA from Tisch School of the Arts and and MFA from the University of California, Davis.  Melissa never became a star of Broadway (as she had set out to be). But she began directing plays in New Caledonia, (of all places!) where she was commissioned to create the inaugural performance for the Tjibaou Center (one of François Mitterands last ‘great works’. In California she began mixing contemporary dance into her theatre shows and in France she integrated circus to her work. But it was in Ireland that she re-encountered her first love: stories and plunged into the storytelling tradition. As disparate as her childhood, her present work is devised from many disciplines and cultures. Still directing, she spends most of her time creating new shows and performing as a storyteller.


Some places you’ve seen the caravan are : Earagail Festival, Three Rivers Storytelling festival, Waterford Spraoi Festival, Mermaid Arts Centre, Riverbank Arts Centre, Cork Midsummer Festival, Siamsa Tire, Glor, Birr Theatre and in France : L’Ivresse des Mots à Marq en Baroeul, La Mission Bretonne à Paris, Alpes Maritimes Festival, Festival Contes et Légendes, La fête mondiale du conte and much of the North of France and Pas de Calais.

To enquire about booking a storytelling event, with the caravan or without…

contact: info@storytellingcaravan.com