Michael Melcher serves as the CEO and Artistic Director for the Ritz Entertainment Group as well as the Artistic Director & Producer for the Creative and Performing Arts Academy and the Ritz Mainstage Players in Scranton. He has enjoyed a long career as an actor, director and vocalist. A distinguished graduate of the US. Air Force Flight School, he earned an Achievement Medal for his work with the Fort Bragg Children’s Theater. During his time in North Carolina, he participated in the workshop for Blessed Are the Peacemakers and directed the premier of Amanda and the Northern Lights. During this time, he was the featured male vocalist for the Miss North Carolina and Miss Mississippi State Pageants. As part of the American Musical Theatre Festival, he performed in the original workshop for Floyd Collins.
Some of his favorite roles include Billy in Carousel, George in Sunday in the Park with George, Padre in Man of La Mancha, Jimmy in The Rainmaker, Magic Mirror in Snow White and Mr. Sowerberry in Oliver. Classical credits include performances with the Berks County Opera and the Pennsylvania Opera Theatre in Rigoletto, Cosi fan tutte, Iolanthe and Magic Flute. Michael has directed over a hundred shows for elementary, middle, high school and college programs as well as for community and professional theater companies across the U.S.
Michael was integral to the development and premier of six original musicals including the development of principal characters in Lee Yopp’s Blessed are the Peacemakers, the role of Homer Collins in Guettel and Landau’s Floyd Collins in its debut at the American Musical Theater Festival. He is currently working on an exciting new play, “The Last Séance for Harry Houdini,” which will be the seventh original production Michael will help bring to both North American and international stages.
Michael served as the Executive Producer for the workshop and premier of Harry Connick Jr’s new children’s musical, The Happy Elf in Bethlehem, PA. He performed the role of the Mayor of Bluesville in both the production and in the original cast recording of The Happy Elf. He has served as the Theater Department Head for the Pennsylvania Art and Music Day Camp in Elkins Park, PA and as the Executive Director for both the Pennsylvania Youth Theatre and Scranton Cultural Center. He is a professional auctioneer and fundraising consultant who has worked with many outstanding organizations, including The 1964 Cleveland Browns, Alex’s Lemonade, American Lung Association, Boys and Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity and the American Cancer Society.
Michael is a graduate of Temple University with a degree in Communications and Theatre. He is currently working on a Masters in Education and Arts Administration. Having been recognized by Harry Connick, Jr. as a “mentor for young artists,” Michael has currently dedicated all his time and talents to the restoration of the Historic Ritz Theater and to ensuring accessibility to the arts for the children and adults of NEPA.