Melli (Melanie) Marie Bond was born (1975) in Massachusetts, USA. Melli is a an actress, theatre practitioner, and choreographer. Melli is the Co-founder and Creative Director Emeritus of Park Theatre in Finsbury Park, which opened in May 2013.
Background and Education
Melli fell in love with the stage at age four learning ballet, tap and jazz with Miss Jane at the Delaware Dance Centre. She joined youth theatre companies, performing at outdoor and indoor theatres. Her favourite role as a youngster was playing Little Red, a street-smart version of Little Red Riding Hood. She graduated from Christiana High School, where she performed in school plays and participated in cheerleading on the Varsity Team for three years. She went to The University of South Carolina where she graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and English Literature and was a sister of Chi Omega sorority. Having spent her undergraduate junior year abroad at University of Hull, Melli returned to Hull as a postgraduate student for a Master of Arts in Theatre Production.
During and post university Melli lead drama workshops for young people in Los Angeles, Delaware, Hong Kong and London. Between 2005 and 2011 Melli co-lead the New End Theatre Academy in Hampstead.
While at USC, Melli landed her first paid acting job with acting troupe ‘Risqué Business’. In 2001 Melli hit London’s fringe theatre scene, playing roles such as Lizzie Curry in The Rainmaker by N. Richard Nash. Simultaneously, she started a voice career playing roles in radio plays for BBC such as, Jacinda Condor in Serious Money by Caryl Churchill. She progressed into television and film work, with roles such as Mindy Ross in The Vatican, performing with lead actor Kyle Chandler, directed by Ridley Scott. She has worked non-stop in the gaming industry, voicing hundreds of characters, as well as performing in motion capture. As a commercial artist Melli can be seen in adverts around the globe.
Melli has choreographed for musical theatre and pantomimes, such as Oliver! at Summer Fields School in Oxford – where actor Rowan Atkinson played ‘Fagin’, prior to his West End run.
Whilst an MA student, Melli met fellow Hull theatre student Jez Bond and upon graduation they joined forces to develop a plan for creating a new theatre and began scouting possible sites and funding sources. In 2010, they were able to put a down payment on a disused building near Finsbury Park station and begin its conversion into a theatre containing two auditoria of 200 and 90 seats. Following a high-profile fundraising campaign, Park Theatre opened in May 2013. In 2015, Park Theatre won The Stage magazine’s Fringe Theatre of the Year Award.
As Creative Director and Associate Artistic Director Melli was responsible for many aspects of the company. Melli curated the Park 90 seasons, co-curated the Park 200 seasons, designed, launched and ran the Creative Learning Programme and, curated art exhibitions for the gallery space featuring work of both local and foreign artists -often as a parallel to the work onstage.
Melli created and lead Script Accelerator, a new writing programme at Park Theatre with the aim to support emerging practitioners and novice theatre makers. Several Script Accelerator’s plays would go on to have full productions in Park 90.
Melli contributed in a variety of ways to in-house productions at Park. Melli played the role of Frances in These Shining Lives by Melanie Marnich – Park’s inaugural production in 2013. Melli choreographed the seasonal shows – Sleeping Beauty and Jack and The Beanstalk, as well as the star studded Whodunnit(Unrehearsed) all written by Jez Bond and Mark Cameron.
Melli, a long time dog-lover, has fostered many Great Danes and adopts rescue dogs. Her Mastiff, Hazel ( known as the Park Theatre Dog) played the role of Colin in Park’s Christmas show Sleeping Beauty. Hazel enjoyed many red carpet and stage appearances; she joined Ian McKellen onstage as he hosted a Park Theatre fundraiser. Hazel had many followers during her @parktheatredog reign, with dozens of interviews and photographs in newspapers and magazines. Melli’s Lurcher, Arlo, is making his television debut in the Netflix series Glória. Melli can often be found walking with Arlo in the Chiltern Hills. Arlo can be followed on instagram @whatwouldarlodo .
Sports and fun
In addition to dancing and long walks with Arlo, Melli loves spending her time practicing yoga, swimming, playing tennis, roller blading and bike riding. She loves hosting cocktail parties for her friends, eating oysters, and making Ecuadorian Aji.