Director - Trainer - Consultant
Theatre - Communication - Activism - Development
Melissa Eveleigh is an Arts and Communication expert specialising in theatre for good governance, dialogue and justice. Melissa has broad grassroots experience in Southern Africa and South Asia, including: training practitioners in a wide range of drama-based processes, devising and touring issue-based performance, designing and implementing community-based education, national campaigning, using theatre, radio and communication for awareness, engagement and policy interaction.
With over 12 years experience living and working in Southern Africa, Melissa co-founded and managed the award-winning Arts and Development NGO, Nanzikambe Arts. Whilst there she established a national programme for the arts, a national network of practitioners using social research, interactive theatre, and local media for positive change, and a theatre-for-decision-makers programme. Programmes delivered change in the areas of governance, justice, rights, sexual and reproductive health, HIV and Malaria prevention.
In Zimbabwe, Melissa has worked extensively at community level, providing assistance to CAFOD and GIZ to build relations between local authorities and residents in the context of economic collapse and recent political violence. In Malawi, Kenya and Bangladesh she trained paralegals, counsellors, restorative justice practitioners, social mobilisors and for the Bangladesh GIZ Rule of Law programme, designed a 5 year action-oriented communication framework.
In addition to applying theatre process to development, Melissa has devised and directed 12 major productions, and countless performances. Most recently in South Africa, a piece made in memory of Ugandan Gay Rights activist, which is part of a larger change and advocacy programme to demand equal rights for LGBTI people in Southern Africa. Photos and excerpts of H28 can be viewed in this clip: