Melissa Smith, Performance Coach, has served as conservatory director and master acting teacher for the American Conservatory since 1995. Under her leadership, the A.C.T. MFA program has consistently ranked among the top five acting programs in the United States. Prior to her work at A.C.T., Melissa was the director of the program in theater and dance at Princeton University, where she also taught all levels of acting. She has taught acting and improvisation to students of all ages in various high schools, colleges and universities in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Hawaii. Melissa has numerous directing credits, including shows at A.C.T. and Princeton, and her professional acting work includes performances in Continental Divide at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Birmingham Repertory (UK), and the Barbican Centre (London) and Fefu and Her Friends and The Miller’s Daughter, both performed at Princeton University.