Who We Are

Melissa O’Rear (Executive Director) is a theatre educator, teaching artist, director and actor. As a trained actor and singer from Lawrence University, she spent many years performing in Chicago. During that time, she discovered her love for theatre education and has spent 20 years creating safe spaces for artists of all ages to take creative risks. She holds a master’s degree in Educational Theatre from New York University.

Melissa has taught in NYC, Chicago, and locally, in D11 and at The Colorado Springs School. She has worked with the Millibo Art Theatre, Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale, Stars & Moon Music Theatre, Theatreworks, the Fine Arts Center, Counterweight Theatre Lab and the Colorado Springs Conservatory. Melissa is an adjunct faculty member at UCCS where she teaches arts integration to elementary education majors.

Theatre Across Borders creates theatre in unexpected places throughout the Pikes Peak region in order to connect, inspire, and grow together.

Onstage Now

Project 206: A Great Bones Adventure (Spring 2023)
There are 206 bones in the human body, and Gavin the Explorer will need every last one to complete a daring rescue mission. Can he outwit the shadowy agent who wants to steal the lab’s secrets for herself? A Science to Stage play about the skeletal system, co-written by 5th-grade science students.

What We Do

Theatre Hikes
Unlike a traditional play, small audiences move from scene to scene along a 1-mile trail. Actors stay in their assigned spots, greeting a new group every 15 minutes. Site-specific and highly interactive, our theatre hikes keep young audiences captivated with a variety of characters and talents on display (magic, puppetry, stilt-walkers, music and dance, swordfights, even giant puzzles).

Science to Stage
Fifth-graders study a science topic through interactive workshops, acting games and creative problem-solving. They then use that knowledge to develop the plot, setting and characters of a brand-new play! Professional actors take their show on tour across the city. Science to Stage promotes arts-integrated learning for creative classrooms.

Teaching Artists
Theatre Across Borders offers workshops and artist residencies for classrooms, summer sessions, performance groups and after-school programs. Topics include puppetry, stage combat, ensemble-building and customized arts-integration lessons. Contact us for details.

Recent Projects

Ghost Fish (Fall 2022)
Legend has it, there’s a fish that makes wishes come true. But not every wish is a good wish, and not every face along the path is a friend. “Ghost Fish” featured monsters, magic, mermaids, pirates and puppets. A theatre hike for families of all ages.

Push, Pull, Split, Spin (Spring 2022)
When a doll runs lose in a toy store, simple machines spring into action! Developed with a local 5th-grade class in our Science to Stage program, “Push, Pull, Split, Spin” toured 17 schools.

Magic of the Marsh (Summer 2020)
Mire the witch has stolen the Neverflower, throwing off the delicate balance of the marsh. Do you have what it takes to restore nature’s cycle of growth and decay? Outwit the goblin, dance with the princess and soothe the beast of the tall grasses. Just watch out for fairies! A theatre hike for ages 5 and up.

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