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Jessa Mellea - Co-Founder, Stage Manager / Technical Director

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, Director / Artistic Director

​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 - Co-Driector

Nicolas Poler is an actor who has worked on multiple projects both at his school and outside. Although acting is his main interest he has recently discovered a passion in directing. He assistant directed Punk Rock, at Upstage Theatre and will be Directing Rozencrantz and Guldenstern are Dead in March. He has been working with Upstage Theatre for a year and is ecstatic to continue working on theatre in his community.

Eli van der Rijn - Co-Director/Choreographer

Eli van der Rijn, a high school senior, is thrilled to be working at Upstage again! As the choreographer for Upstage’s Spring Awakening, he got to experiment with choreographing people. As his first love was dancing, this experience was amazing for him. He is excited to go even further in the 2017-18 season, as the co-director for Shakespeare Abridged, and choreographer for The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. When Eli is not working on Upstage, you can most likely find him training and performing circus arts (Contortion, Clowning).

Our Mission