Julianna Garber

 Current Board Member, Co-Founder & Artistic Director 2015-2018


​Julianna had the idea for Upstage in the spring of 2015, when she noticed a lack of high school student-run productions. After attempting to create a theater group at her school, she realized that the group's mission was such that it had to become its own entity and Upstage was born. Julianna directed Upstage's productions of Heathers, Punk Rock, Spring Awakening, Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) and the Hunchback of Notre Dame.  Julianna is currently studying directing at the University of Michigan.


Upstage Theater is a completely teen-run theater company that provides opportunities to teens of all backgrounds from across the Bay Area to participate in every aspect of theater, allowing them to hone their skills in both acting and production work. We are dedicated to creating safe spaces to examine what it means to be a teenager through material written by or about teens that they would typically be unable to participate in in a school or community theater.

Nicolas Poler

Artistic Director 2018-2019



Nicolas Poler served as the artistic director at Upstage for the 2018-2019 season,  He also assistant directed Upstage Theater’s Punk Rock and directed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, The Aliens, and co-directing Bare. Nico is continuing to pursue his love of theater at UNCSA where he is pursuing a BFA in Acting.

Megan Reed

Artistic Director 2020-2021


After being parts of Upstage’s production staff for the last two seasons, Megan is thrilled to be the Artistic Director for the 2020-2021 season. Around the Bay Area, she has worked as stage manager, assistant stage manager, soundboard operator, follow spot operator, and in various backstage positions with such theater companies as South Bay Musical Theatre, Sunnyvale Community Players, The Pear Theatre, and Península Youth Theater. Merde!

Naomi Shanson 

Current Board Member,

Artistic Director 2019-2020


Naomi Shanson has worked on a multitude of theatrical projects throughout the Bay Area and Upstage has given her the space to explore multiple aspects of theatre in a safe and encouraging environment. She has worked on a total of eight productions with Upstage Theatre over three seasons. Naomi is honored to have served as the Artistic Director for the 2019-2020 season and to have directed Radium Girls and Witness for the Prosecution. Naomi is currently studying Stage Management and Technical Theatre at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff, Wales.

Our Mission

Upstage Theater is a 501(c)(3) EIN 84-5190807

© 2020 Upstage Theater

Jessa Mellea

Current Board Member and Co-Founder



Jessa became involved with Upstage in the Fall of 2015. She had worked in theater since she was in Kindergarten and spent three years with Upstage Stage where she stage managed six productions.  She is currently studying at Brown University where she continues to work in theater!