ALIENS Artist Profiles: Melissa Simmons

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or none of the above? Facebook. I’m nowhere near cool enough for Twitter or Instagram.

What’s your favorite (or extraordinary) skill that you had to learn for a show? In college I took a Middle Eastern Belly Dancing class as research for a summer stock show I was choreographing. Then, a few years ago, I learned some Czech for a production of My Antonia that I was in. Though to be fair, I wasn’t particularly skilled at either!

Why should people come see “Aliens with Extraordinary Skills”? People who enjoy stellar performances should come see this cast! Collectively, they are the strongest group I’ve had the privilege of directing. Those who like to be swept up in a great story will love Saviana Stanescu’s enchanting characters.

“Aliens” is the story of Nadia, who immigrates to the US from Moldova. How has immigration shaped your story, or your family’s story? Both my grandparents on my dad’s side were from Bohemia (Czech Republic). They were first generation in the US. My grandfather was born just a few months after his parents arrived. My grandmother was 6 or 7 when her family arrived. Both families moved to Nebraska. I know it was a hard life more because of the stories they didn’t share than those they did.

Melissa Simmons directs Aliens with Extraordinary Skills, which runs September 9-24 at Gremlin Theatre in St. Paul. Buy tickets here.

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