Ashley Melzer is a producer, filmmaker and writer based in Durham, NC. She grew up in North Florida, the youngest daughter of a small town dentist and nurse. Growing up, Ashley was a wannabe beatnik who loved music, wrote bad poetry and annoyed her older brothers. Her brothers grew up to become dentists. Ashley either missed or threw away the family memo and has instead chased creative pursuits.
She received her Bachelor's in Cinematic Arts from the University of Southern California and then a Masters in Folklore from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her writing and photography have been featured in Indy Week, Paste Magazine, eMusic, and the Southern Foodways Alliance to name a few. She's worked with Hopscotch, Moogfest, the NC Comedy Arts Festival, The Groove Productions, Thornapple Films, The Southern Oral History Program and more. She currently works on Multimedia Production and Special Projects for Southern Cultures Journal. Ashley is Producer of You Gave Me a Song, a new, feature length documentary about the life and music of legendary old-time and bluegrass musician Alice Gerrard, which premiered at the Full Frame Film Festival in 2019. She is director and producer of Zara, a one person show about an anxious, asthmatic Muslim kid’s search for meaning and the chance encounters that impacted him.
Ashley is a founding partner and stakeholder of Mettlesome, a creative collective in Durham that produces smart, independent projects with particular focus on improv and sketch. For Mettlesome, she directs Hush Hush, a feature improv show based on secrets, and performs with Golden Age, a monthly showcase of improv based on local artists in other disciplines. Ashley was lead producer of the debut sketch show, Two Months In - An Original Sketch Comedy Revue as well as it’s follow-up, the halloween themed, Bump in the Night - A Spooky Sketch Comedy Revue. She also served as executive producer of Clarified Butter, a podcast about food and friendship. Mettlesome won a 2017 Indy Arts Award for contributions to the Triangle comedy community.
When not imagining the dental career that might have been, Ashley is usually hanging out with her husband Jack and their rescue dog Iceman.