BEHIND THE MUSIC OF MELISSA BURKE-MANWARING
Melissa Burke-Manwaring cultivated her love for singing and performing at the very early age of three; making her musical theater debut as the Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz. Melissa was singing and humming to herself well before she could talk, and continued her intense passion for music all the way up through elementary, middle, and high school and on through college, where she is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Music in Musical Theater (BMMT) at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Melissa is an extremely driven, and dedicated artist, and has performed in over 22 regional productions. Her love of performance, performers and the audience, combined with her fierce work ethic and talent, has solidified Melissa’s reputation as a go-to performer with regional directors and music educators. Her more notable lead roles include both Velma Kelly & Roxie in Chicago, Hope Cladwell in Urinetown, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Janet Van de Graff in The Drowsy Chaperone, and Kendra in 13 The Musical.
In Melissa’s first year in college, she won the College of Music’s Undergraduate Vocal Competition with her beautifully compelling performance, receiving a cash prize of $1,500 to put toward her future education. Melissa’s next appearance was in the Bachelor of Music in Musical Theater’s production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, where she played the glamorous role of Rona Lisa Peretti, the spelling bee proctor. Her first virtual performance during Covid was for the 2021 NATS Completion, where she placed 1st in the Undergraduate Musical Theater category. The summer of 2021, Melissa attended the 6 week Musical Theater Intensive at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting in Manhattan, New York, where she had the honor of learning, growing and working with several phenomenal past and present Broadway actors and directors. She graduated from the College of Music at the University of Colorado, Boulder in May of 2023, and was a member of the first ever BMMT cohort at CU. Melissa has absolutely loved her time in the BMMT program at CU Boulder, and now feels ready to take the next step on her path to a successful and lucrative career in the arts in her new home, New York City!
Words from Friends
Friends, colleagues, fellow actors, directors and other theater professionals have described Melissa as confident, dedicated, kind, outgoing and strong, to name a few!