In a Facebook message, Heather Taft of the Asheville Arts Center announced the nonprofit’s new executive director:
“Please join me in welcoming Melissa Ricketts to our Arts Center family! I am excited that at she has decided to join us, and she is excited to get to know all of you. I know that you will love what she has to offer
the Arts Center, and together we will continue to build up the performing arts in the lives of our children and our community.
Melissa Ricketts started her adventure with the Asheville Arts Center by directing Into the Woods and will continue by co-directing The Wizard of Oz in May. She loves directing, teaching and making the arts accessible to everyone! She is thrilled to be taking on the difficult and exciting job of executive director. Melissa has her Master of Fine Arts in Theatre for Youth from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Her undergraduate degrees from the University of North Alabama were in Theatre and Radio/Television/Film. She was the Education Director for Raleigh Little Theatre, Producer and Director of the award winning drama program at Durham Academy Upper School and she started her career managing a community theatre in her home state of Alabama. She loves the Asheville area and cannot wait to make it her permanent home.
Melissa has directed performers ages 5 to 75 which includes over 40 student productions including some favorites such as Jungalbook, Charlotte’s Web, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Honk! She has directed community theatre and professional productions with budgets from $50 to $7 million. No matter the budget, Melissa believes it is the actors who make a great production. She developed curriculum, hired and supervised teachers for Raleigh Little Theatre’s Education Program which supported 1,000 students annually. She is also a choreographer, stage manager and coordinates the largest audition in the country for college and professional actors for the Southeasthern Theatre Conference.
Melissa believes the strength of the Arts Center is twofold…a passionate vision to bring the arts and children together and its talented and caring faculty. Melissa hopes she can help the Arts Center move forward with all its teaching goals while maintaining the stability and great artistic integrity for which it is known.”