Ellen has been actively involved in the performing arts since her college days in Long Beach, CA. She has directed and emceed numerous murder mystery/comedy productions alongside her husband, Michael.
Author of KARAOKE KILLS ME and DEAD IN THE SLED, and co-author of THINGS THAT GO BUMP, THE LAST RIDE, FREDO & FIONA'S WHACKED WEDDING,'56 VICKY, and several other works, Ellen has a knack for making audiences crack up.
Ellen played the role of "Stella" in STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE, "Nancy" in THE KNACK, "Edna" in MURDER BY MISTLETOE, and crazy "Abbie Brewster" in ARSENIC AND OLD LACE. Along with her husband, Ellen is currently working on no less than four new scripts and an original children's book based on the natural resources near their beautiful home on the Oregon Coast.
Melanie brings a wide variety of skills to the production team of Poison Pen Players, including an extensive technical and theatrical performance background. Melanie has directed and/or choreographed over 60 full-length musicals and performed in over 50 plays and musicals, throughout the west coast.
A founding company member of the Southern CA branch of Murder Mystery Players, Melanie provided "drop dead" performances in Los Angeles, Irvine, Ontario, Orange County and surrounding areas for over 7 years. Her favorite murder mystery roles to date have been the evil bridezilla in FREDO AND FIONA'S WHACKED WEDDING and the slightly lost Terry Fay salesgirl, "Bambi Kulakowski." Other faves include "Gladys" in THE PAJAMA GAME, "Sally Bowles" in CABARET, and the title role in EVITA.
Melanie acts, directs, writes, sings, dances, and does graphic/web design/marketing/videography/photography for the company. She is also the Artistic Director and Founder of "C.R.O.W. - Children's Repertory of Oregon Workshops" - a non-profit youth theatre program, dedicated to providing high caliber performing arts experiences to local children. www.crowkids.com
Mike spent over 7 years as the Regional Artistic Director for the largest murder mystery company in the U.S.A.
He has played many roles in musical theatre including "Tevye" in FIDDLER ON THE ROOF and "Daddy Warbucks" in ANNIE. He also performed improv with the well-known Orange County Crazies. Mike has directed dozens of murder mystery comedies. As an Author/Composer, Mike created ALADDIN & THE SWINGING GENIES (Children's Musical), A FOOL AND HIS MONEY, CHISELERS ON THE HOOF, and wrote about 100 original songs. He also co-authored THE LAST RIDE, FREDO & FIONAS WHACKED WEDDING, and BEST LAID PLANS.
An accomplished vocalist, Michael recorded "Hurtin' Heart.Com" penned by Emmy winner Ken Wannberg and Shirley Packard. His biggest accomplishment is that he has been married to Ellen for over 50 years.
Headquartered on the beautiful Oregon Coast, PPP is a high class murder mystery, musical revue, and special events company, providing joy and laughter at every opportunity! We have traveled the USA to entertain our guests, and are happy to provide you with additional information about any of our available productions.
In the picture at right:
Mike, Ellen & Melanie pose with "Poe-The Raven" - our company mascot and the inspiration behind our murder mystery business. For us, murder is a "family affair."