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Jessa Mellea - Co-Founder

Jessa became involved with Upstage in the Fall of 2015. She had worked in theater since she was in Kindergarten and is now entering her senior year of high school. Recent stage management works include: Heathers: The Musical!, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Oliver!

Julie Garber - Co-Founder

​Julie had the idea for Upstage in the spring of 2015. After an attempt of creation of a group in her school, she realized that the mission of the group was such that it had to become its own entity, and thusly, Upstage was born. When she's not working Upstage you can find her onstage or thoroughly enjoying her senior year of high school.

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 is an actor who has worked on multiple projects both at his school and outside. Although acting is his main interest, Upstage helped him discover a passion in directing. He assistant directed Upstage Theater’s Punk Rock, and directed Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. This season he will be working as the artistic director, and directing The Aliens, and co-directing Bare. Nico is so excited to continue working on theater in his community.

Naomi Shanson - 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 started working with Upstage as Crew in Rosencrantz… and as ASM in Hunchback… Later she Asst. Directed Dog Sees God and Stage Managed The Aliens and Bare: A Pop Opera. This season she will be directing two of our shows. Naomi is honored to be the Artistic Director for the 2019-2020 season.

Our Mission