Melis Aker is a writer, actor, and musician from Turkey. Her plays have been commissioned by and developed at Atlantic Theatre, Ars Nova (Play Group member), NYTW (2050 fellow), New Group, Dramatists Guild Foundation (DGF Fellow), Roundabout Space Jam, LaMaMa, The Lark, The Flea, Noor, Golden Thread Productions, 24 Hour Plays, Corkscrew Festival and BRIC in the U.S., as well as the Finborough and Park theatres in London.
Melis’ plays include: Field, Awakening (2019 Kilroy’s List, Columbia@Roundabout finalist, Sundance final-round, Berkeley Rep Ground Floor final-round, Playwrights Realm finalist); Dragonflies (2019 Sundance final-round); Scraps and Things (Playing on Air, starring Carol Kane); Azul (O’Neill NMTC); When My Mama was a Hittite (Columbia@Roundabout finalist); Fractio Panis (Homebound Project/No Kid Hungry, starring Brian Cox); Manar (Columbia@Roundabout finalist, Theatre503 Playwriting Award semifinalist); 330 Pegasus: A Love Letter (Jerome NY Fellowship final-round); OPET Diaries; and Gilded Isle. Her screenplay “ARI” (“Bee”) was at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival as part of Maison des Scenaristes, and her pilot of “MANAR” was accepted to Orchard Project’s Episodic Lab, Trans Atlantic Partners, and IFP week. She has also worked on the development of a screenplay with Revelations Entertainment, headed by Lori McCreary and Morgan Freeman.
Selected acting credits include: “The Blacklist: Redemption” (NBC), “Seneca” (HBOMax), Love in Afghanistan (Arena Stage & Roundabout), We Live in Cairo (NAMT, New World Stages), Proof (Edinburgh Fringe). Her song “The Unknowing” was in the final reel of the 2017 NPR Tiny Desk contest. Melis has worked as Ayad Akhtar’s assistant, and given a StoryCorps and TEDx talk. She is a proud member of The Lark’s Middle East America writers room.
Upcoming: Melis is developing a musical play with Benjamin Scheuer and Jemma Williams based on their illustrated book Hundred Feet Tall, and working on a new play commission from Ars Nova. Her play Field, Awakening will receive its world premiere at the Finborough Theatre directed by Rory McGregor (covid-19 pending). Training: Columbia (MFA), Tufts (BA), RADA (Acting). Representation: CAA and Brillstein Entertainment Partners. www.melisaker.com