Miss A Columnist

Melissa Curtin covers charity and style related events and loves to cover LA's best in beauty, fashion, and culture. She is an educator who recently returned to the classroom to motivate and inspire third graders at a private school in Pacific Palisades. In 2012, she launched an educational T-shirt line called Wear2learn. When she is not working out, hiking a canyon, or at the beach, she is writing. Her latest dream come true has been travel writing for Johnny Jet.

After teaching in the Maryland public school system for almost a decade, she left the conservative East Coast environment in Washington, DC for West Coast living. Eager for adventure, inner growth, and a new environment, she packed her car and took to the open road on her own landing in her new home - Hollywood, California. As a Connecticut Yankee at heart, she has now lived in Los Angeles for six years surrounded by the stars.

Melissa graduated from Gettysburg College with a double major in psychology and art history. Soon after, she earned a Master's Degree in education. Melissa traveled around the world on Semester at Sea, and earned a Fulbright Scholarship which enabled her to teach in England. A lust for travel and learning has fueled her globe trotting ever since. Some of her favorite destinations are Costa Rica, Thailand, Fiji, Morocco, Vietnam, Belgium, Italy, Sicily, Prague, Egypt, Australia, Greece, and Paris.

Los Angeles has won over her heart. She is constantly taking advantage of what LA LA Land has to offer - new boutiques and restaurants, finding great deals, discovering new hikes and beaches, music, and West Coast fashion.

The Katselas Theater Company Presents A Child Left Behind At The Beverly Hills Playhouse

What is like to have a child with Asberger’s Syndrome or Autism? How does it feel to be a public school teacher in LA? This one man play takes you on an emotional ride as the writer and actor Alan Aymie plays many passionate roles – from a teacher, to his own students, to his young son who makes his heart shine while suffering from the intricasies of Asberger’s Syndrome.

Alan Aymie made his first appearance at the Katselas Theater Stage in Beverly Hills on April 21. Opening night benefited Jenny McCarthy’s autism charity Generation Rescue, which is dedicated to recovery for children with autism spectrum disorders by providing guidance and support to directly improve a child’s quality of life. The organization provides education, support, a toll-free hotline and treatment options to families in need, helping more than 25,000 a year.

Teacher/Actor/Writer Alan Aymie showed us an incredible emotional journey of a ‘teacher’ who fights hard for his students as well as his own son, giving them hope and faith that they are special. Being a teacher myself, I could relate to so many powerful and touching scenes in this show.  He brings to light how the LA Times “value added” public grading of teachers never really tells the whole story, the truth about what dedicated, caring, hard working teachers are doing day in and day out. Numbers do not matter.  It is the growth of each child. Numbers do not show the whole child.

The actor’s show is not too far from his own reality. It is really HIS story.  The actor, a teacher at LAUSD for 11 years shows that many teachers and parents make an incredible difference and refuse to have a child left behind.  The play’s roller coaster journey shows us how important it is to have trust and belief in every child’s educational path.

Aymie decided to write this play in the midst of writing another when he was sitting in the car at an educational protest watching some 200 other teachers picketing. He didn’t feel participating was effective and rationalized not getting out of the car by saying, “I’m just not political – I’m a teacher….an artist…”  During this same time he had been layed off with the LA “pink slip,” Alan and his wife were dealing with options for their middle child who had been determined to have Asberger’s.  The play reveals the challenges he faces with their son as well as the unique talents a child with Asberger’s has, such as extreme gifts in chess and math.

“A Child Left Behind” is directed by Paul Stein, produced by Gary Grossman and co-produceed by Les Williams

Alan Aymie performs a one man show.

WHEN: Fridays & Saturdays at 8 p.m. through May 26th


Beverly Hills Playhouse
254 South Robertson Blvd.
Beverly Hills, CA 90211
Ph. 310-855-1556

Please click here to purchase tickets   or call 702-582-8587







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