Artistic Director & Founder
Adrian has been a professional actor and drama teacher for over 25 years. He was born and educated in England completing a BA (honors) at Leeds University and a Drama Diploma at the Arts Educational Schools, London.
Adrian has worked extensively in film and television with credits including Ocean’s 13, Entourage, General Hospital, The King of Queens, Frasier, Bruce Almighty, and recurring roles in 24 and iCarly (as Mr Devlin).
Adrian started Upstage in 1999 with a simple principle at its core — to create an environment that would produce fully rounded young performers:
“I wanted the students to take part in all three disciplines (i.e. acting, singing and dance) so that when they perform on stage, they have what we call ‘chops’ — that’s how actors are taught in England. And the skills learnt in the performing arts are so useful to young people whatever future career they choose.”
Julie has been part of the Upstage family for over a decade, starting in 2004 as a volunteer at Westwood Charter before joining the Upstage Production Team in 2014. She has a Masters of Social Service Administration Degree from the University of Chicago and has been working with children and families for over to 25 years, first in foster care and more recently as an international adoption social worker. Originally from Texas, her love of Musical Theatre started with a High School production of “Grease” and was revived when the oldest of her four children joined the Upstage Program.
Julie loves being a part of the Upstage Theatre Schools family and loves working with the amazing Upstage staff and students!
Marketing and Operations Director
Taylor Marie Sherry grew up in Chicago in a family deeply entrenched in the theatre world. She is a graduate of Florida State University with her BFA in Musical Theatre, training with Broadway’s Michael Hayden and Fred Chappell. Taylor spent two summers in college performing at the Highlands Playhouse in North Carolina, and also choreographing and assisting musicals at Elgin Academy’s theatre camp. After graduation, Taylor spent her summer as a resident company performer at Music Theatre Wichita, working with fantastic leaders such as Peggy Hickey, Wayne Bryan, and Nicholas Palmquist. There, she also had the opportunity to play Amber in Hairspray, choreographed by Al Blackstone. Taylor lives in LA pursuing her acting career, and to grow her directing and choreographing experiences.
Jill has been in love with the magical world of theatre her whole life! While growing up in Yorktown, Virginia she participated in as many school productions as possible and eventually decided to attend school for drama. After earning a BFA in Theatre Performance from Virginia Commonwealth University she moved to sunny Los Angeles! She joined the Upstage in spring of 2019 and she is so grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing team. It’s an honor to pass along her love of theatre to your children. She hopes it brings you as much joy as it has brought her.
Conejo Valley Business Development
Danielle is thrilled to wear various Upstage hats! She joined the production team for the launch of Upstage Conejo’s Summer Camp in 2019 and for its expansion into other schools in the Conejo Valley, while also serving as the parent production volunteer at Brookside Elementary. Danielle grew up and hightailed it out of Florida to NYC where she graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts with a BFA in Drama. She has been a part of the theatre for over 20 years, from performing as a member of a resident theatre company on New York City’s Theatre Row, to the national tour of the Drama-Desk Award winning play Charlie, Victor, Romeo. Danielle also enjoys performing locally (including Four Star Awards for best lead actress and best supporting actress) and roles in film and TV including Welcome to the Family. She has trained at Upright Citizen’s Brigade in improv and loves sharing think-on-your-feet acting and improv skills with students including co-teaching Upstage’s week-long showcase camps in the Conejo Valley!
Conejo Valley Regional Program Director
Mary began acting at the age of 16 in Windsor, Connecticut and performed in community theater for the next 15 years. At the age of 30 she decided to study her craft further in New York City with legendary teacher and director Gene Frankel which led to her off-Broadway debut in 1992. Life took an unexpected turn which forced her to give up her career until 2004 when she relocated to San Francisco. There she worked part time as a professional actor while holding down a full time job. In 2012 she relocated to Los Angeles and continued to work in the industry part-time. In 2020 she made the decision to retire from Corporate America so she could focus on a full-time career in acting. Mary has performed in several short and feature films, a television movie, several television shows, three theatrical productions, and several commercials. The highlight of her career to date was working directly with Doris Roberts, Bill Hader, and Ted Danson. Mary has an undergraduate degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. As an Ordained Minister she has officiated weddings in both Northern and Southern California. She is the proud parent of two grown children Justin and Sammy Jo. Mary is excited to work with Upstage and promote the creative talents of children interested in this art form.
South Pasadena Regional Program Director
Born and raised right here in SoCal Tara and her husband have lived in South Pasadena for the past 25 years where they are raising their 4 children. Tara’s work with children began with preschool age and then teens. After several years as coordinator for a local foreign exchange student program, Tara moved to Youth and Teen Programs at the YMCA where she also teaches group fitness. Tara’s first experience with Upstage was several years ago as a parent helping sew costumes and working backstage for the 5th grade musical. Tara is thrilled to continue working in a community she’s been a part of for so many years and is enjoying combining her experience working with children with her love for the theatre.
West LA Regional Program Director
A native Angeleno, Michelle was immersed in the city’s cultural offerings from a young age, and her Bachelors in English Literature from UCLA subsequently led her on many journeys—from writing true crime and editing art volumes for local museums to interviewing celebrities for national publications. Her participation in a vital local music scene was later documented in a film she co-wrote and produced. Passionate about arts education, Michelle has produced numerous school theater productions and worked for a local theater’s education program. She also created Young Writers Workshop, a summer camp and in-school workshop for the care and nurturing of young writers. She first worked with Upstage at Westwood Charter School in 2004–6 and Michelle couldn’t be happier to join this talented team once again!
Jason attended The Juilliard School on a full vocal performance scholarship. After graduation he performed in regional and touring productions all over the US. He has also scored numerous indie short films and web series.
In July of 2009, his YouTube hit Girls In Pantyhose was released and to date has over 2.5 million views, while his work on My 2 Black Girlfriends won him the 2014 IAWTV Award for Best Original Music.
He is a founding member of comedy troupe Fred For Nothing and the award-winning comedy song troupe Stupid Songs. Jason also facilitated Opera Improv, a collaboration between the Groundlings and LA Opera. Jason joined the It Gets Better tour in 2012 where he travels the country speaking, performing and doing outreach for underserved and at-risk LGBTQ youth.
Miranda Wynne graduated from UC, San Diego with a Bachelors in Theatre and a minor in communications. She performs in theatres all around Los Angeles and recently received a nomination for Best Lead Performance by the Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle. Previously, Miranda has had the pleasure of being a teaching artist for La Jolla Playhouse’s Young Performers Workshop and as the Performing Arts Specialist at Fun Under the Sun Day Camp for a number of years. Miranda is also a substitute teacher for LAUSD during the year!
A Boston native who’s been dancing since she was three, Meghann studied Dance and Theatre at both Hofstra and Jacksonville Universities. She has been teaching dance for the past 9 years in both the New England and Los Angeles areas. She has performed with local dance and theatre companies and most notably in the hybrid dance-theater company, Thrance.
Currently, she is a preschool dance teacher at Temple Isaiah Preschool in addition to owning her own dance company for the past six years, Kickstart Dance, located in West LA. She had her choreography debut with the Upstage Production of Peter Pan this summer! She couldn’t be happier teaching kids… and dancing!
Mike McClure was a musical theater major at the University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music (CCM) and has performed, directed, choreographed and taught in New York, Los Angeles and many places in between.
Favorite roles as a performer are Don Lockwood in Singin’ in the Rain, BJ Gibson in
The 1940’s Radio Hour, and Orin, the dentist, in Little Shop of Horrors. Favorite shows as a director/choreographer are Hairspray, West Side Story, Music Man, and Romeo & Juliet, the Rock Musical.
He choreographed the national tours of Gypsy and The Sound of Music, as well as regional productions of Cats and Hair.
Mike has taught jazz, musical theater dance, acting, and filmmaking in various locations over the past 20 years and has gotten to share the stage with musical theater legends like Gene Kelly, Tommy Tune, Joel Grey, George Hearn, and Sandy Duncan.
Mario Mosley attended the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television. Some of his credits include World Music Awards, Dreamgirls, Walk Hard, Castle, MadTV, RuPaul’s Drag U, Dance Your A** Off, Nickelodeon, Heineken, Kia, Sprite, Miss Universe Pageant, Miss USA, Miss Teen USA, iCarly, Popeyes, It Gets Better Tour, Michael Jackson’s Sisterella, Notre Dame de Paris, Joe’s Garage, and many more.
Mario is a longtime Lythgoe Family Panto Choreographer, having worked on such shows as Peter Pan, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, and Aladdin, to name a few. This summer, he went to Sydney, Australia to choreograph a brand new 3D production of Jack & the Beanstalk at the world famous State Theatre. His love and talents in some many fields of the arts have presented him with the opportunity to work with some of the most exciting names in the entertainment industry, including Beyoncé, Michael Jackson, Prince, Ariana Grande, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, The Pussycat Dolls, Justin Timberlake, Snoop Dogg, Zac Efrom, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Olivia Holt, and the new Disney sensation Ruby Rose Turner.
Christine Negherbon-Abraham recently appeared in The Little Mermaid, Oliver, Yankee Doodle Dandy & Mary Poppins (Associate Choreographer) at MTW! She also choreographed their production of Holiday Inn. Christine toured Nationally/Internationally with My Fair Lady (Eliza u/s), Best Little Whorehouse . . . (Starring Ann-Margret), 42nd Street (Peggy Sawyer), Chicago & The Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Favorite regional credits include: Elizabeth (Young Frankenstein), Jennyanydots (Cats at The Muny/Sacramento Music), Mrs. Wilkinson (Billy Elliot). TV credits: Hart of Dixie, Haunting Evidence. Christine has directed and choreographed all over the United States. Select credits include: 42nd Street (Norris Theatre), Hairspray & White Christmas (Mac-Haydn Theatre), Billy Elliot (Anchorage Center for Performing Arts) and Crazy for You, West Side Story, Cabaret (DeSales University). Christine is a Master Teacher Artist with both the Segerstrom Center and Center Theatre Group. She is on faculty at Hussian College In Studio, Palos Verdes Performing Arts and Fluid Dance. She is Co-Founder/Author of www.TheThrivingArtists.com with husband and actor, Joe Abraham. They are passionate about teaching financial education and empowerment to artists everywhere. They have 2 children and live in LA.
Beverly received her BFA from the Boston Conservatory of Music, at Berklee, in Drama/Musical Theatre/Dance with Honors in Directing. In NYC, she performed at Lincoln Center, Off Broadway, and regionally. She did several productions of Sweet Charity and Sugar Babies, one of each choreographed by award-winner Susan Stroman. In LA, Beverly appeared at the Whitefire, Powerhouse, and Court theatres, and at the Comedy Store and Luna Park. She played violin for John Cleese in a DirecTV ad, and won many game shows (including Wheel of Fortune). She appears as a dancer in Sia’s movie Music and in Netlix’s Ratched, and plays tennis in the Roger Ailes’ movie. She sings with the a cappella group “The Music Companie” and the quartet “Jazz and All That.” She has been sharing her passion — directing, music directing, and choreographing children’s theatre — for 13 years, and is thrilled to join the Upstage team!
Bria Robinson is from Chattanooga, TN. She attended Earlham College in Richmond, IN, where she majored in Theatre Arts and minored in Business Management. After graduating, Bria moved to New York to start here career in the arts, and participated in a fellowship program at the Brooklyn Academy of Music for production and stage craft. She has been a stage manager for shows such as Plaza Suite, 24hr Theatre Project, among others. She really enjoys theatre and loves the people that she meets throughout her experiences.
Alison has been a professional dancer and actress for 25 years here in Southern California. She has been in numerous plays, musicals, television productions, industrials and has been lucky enough to travel the world with her talents. She grew up on the stage dancing, transitioned into film and television in her 20s, learned make-up artistry in her 30s, and has worked as co-owner in a successful photography business as well.
Alison has taught dance as a guest artist throughout many studios from Kansas City to Southern California. Her love for dance and choreography has continued even as she has settled down in South Pasadena to raise her three young children. She continues to teach dance at local studios, audition commercially, and is involved in the School district directing productions and state-recognized show choirs. She has also implemented a dance program within the elementary schools, and shares her talents as a teaching artist for Disney musicals in schools. Alison feels at her best when she is inspiring kids and people through dance and expression and is thrilled to be part of the Upstage team.
Los Angeles native, Gary Roberts, is a dancer, performer, and choreographer who has been praised for his work and even extolled as a “terrific tap dancer” by the LA times.
After graduating with a degree in Theater from CSU Fullerton, Gary soon made a name for himself performing alongside LA’s finest tap dancers as a member of Tap Overload. He regularly performs with the Central Avenue Dance Ensemble and has had the honor of performing as a guest artist at Santa Monica College and Irvine Valley College. Gary has performed quite a few roles in musicals with some of his favorites being Tommy Djilas in The Music Man, Diesel in West Side Story, and Neleus in Mary Poppins. He is also the founder and director of Tap TRIBE, a professional Tap dance company based in Los Angeles.
Gary has taught at Orange County School of the Arts, Millennium Dance Complex, Mt. San Antonio College, and has choreographed for the San Juan Hills High School dance department. His favorite choreography credits include pop artist Aliyah Moulden, the vintage nightclub floorshow “A Night at Club Alabam”, and Annie Jr. for Upstage Theater Schools. Gary tours nationally as a judge for the Star Dance Alliance and is currently continuing to bring his love of dance to the world. He is grateful to work with the talented artists of Upstage!
Not the average Spaniard, Gabriel grew up half in San Diego, and half in Seville, Spain. His first words were a “me gusta” followed shortly by “juice.” He still speaks Spanish regularly to his family across the sea who have a hard time believing “El Pollo Loco” is a restaurant.
Gabriel attended the USC School of Theatre and quickly transitioned into professional acting and singing after graduating with honors. Growing up with two opera-singing parents, he has an in-depth knowledge of singing technique. Gabriel’s music education continued and expanded through 10 years of performing in the barbershop group The Dapper Dans at Disneyland Resort. His musical experience aided his transition into the world of voice-over. You can hear Gabriel’s voice in Star Wars: Rogue One, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, and several episodes of Disney Channel’s Elena of Avalor.
Katie Bottomley is a singer-songwriter living in Los Angeles with her husband and two little black dogs. With a degree in musical theatre, she is also pursuing a second degree in biological sciences. She has performed in several regional theatre productions, as well TV and commercials.
Katie has been teaching voice, piano, and songwriting for over five years. Working on her third album, she is a well established artist with a top-notch band that plays locally around California. Through her music, she hopes to help spread feminism and fight for women’s rights around the world. She also aspires to one day work alongside conservationists and biologists to help keep our ocean ecosystems alive.
Angelica is an avid lover of music and has been singing in choirs since she was in high school. After high school, Angelica lived in Borken, Germany for one year as an exchange student where she studied language, culture, and the performing arts. She has since been studying voice at Santa Barbara City College, San Francisco State University (B.A. in Spanish), Moorpark College (where she won an award for Best Actress as a newcomer), and continues with private coaching.
Angelica is active in community theatre in the Ventura County and has been in productions such as Nunsense, Dogfight, Curtains, Nuncrackers (CSP), West Side Story (CPT), and a number of productions at Moorpark College.
Teaching kids music and seeing their faces light up with enjoyment is a gift Angelica doesn’t take for granted. She is incredibly grateful to Upstage for including her in the team.
Mason Smajstrla is from Austin, TX and has been performing in theatre productions and community theaters since the age of 6. At 16 yrs old, she originated the role of Angelica in “VOTE! The Musical” at Theatre Under the Stars in Houston, TX and can be heard on Spotify in the original cast recording. Mason came in third place at the Speak the Speech Shakespeare competition, and was nominated for a Tommy Tune Award for her role as “the Witch” in Into the Woods. After graduating with her BFA in Acting from Otterbein University, she moved to NYC in 2016 where she worked for Carnahan Casting/Roundabout Theatre Company, and took improv classes at UCB and the Magnet. Since then, Mason has continued to perform in regional productions as well as pursuing her passion for stand-up comedy, even performing on a show with Janeane Garofalo in Brooklyn, NY. In 2021, following the pandemic, she moved out to Los Angeles to follow her dreams of being a stand-up comic and actor. Mason can be seen regularly at Flappers, Broadway Comedy Club, and The Comedy Chateau as well as taking improv classes at the prestigious Groundlings in West Hollywood.
Debra has loved being a Musical Director at Upstage Schools for the last 14 years. Her background is as a professional singer, actress and trained musician. She has performed on stage and in television and films. As a teacher, she has gained fulfillment from putting on hundreds of high quality shows and watching students blossom as performers and people. Her classes are fun and structured. Students learn the value of teamwork, discipline and hard work. When the final curtain falls, they feel proud, they have made new friends and they have developed skills for life.
Joshua Warner lives in Pasadena with his partner and their tabby cat Molly. He graduated from Carthage College with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre General and Business Administration. After college he moved to Los Angeles, where he worked with the YMCA to reignite their youth fine arts programing. During his work with the Y, he managed all youth fine art classes as well as teaching acting and directing. After completing his Masters in Business Design and Innovation, Joshua now takes his love of the arts and youth theater into his role as consultant. Joshua is excited to join Upstage Theater School and help students act with confidence!
Born in Colorado, Annie Terrazzo surrounded herself with dreams and a large family who, through silversmithing and plein air painting who taught her the value of and method to making beauty in the world. She spent large portions of her childhood writing plays on an old typewriter, watching movies, and dreaming of Paris, activities that would influence her later paintings.
After graduating from the Academy of Art in San Francisco, CA, Terrazzo began her career in fine art portraiture, focusing on using found objects, newspapers, and magazines. She has exhibited in galleries and her work is in permanent collections and museums around the world. In addition to her artworks she won the LA Weekly Theatre Award for best set artist for “The Last Days of Judas Iscariot” and nominated for an Ovation award in 2014. She is looking forward to bringing her artist sensibilities and love of theatre to Upstage.
Faith has been involved with theater since a young age and has always had an interest in costuming. She attended Pasadena City College for Fashion Design. While at Pasadena City College she designed numerous shows including Cabaret, Fight Night, and Dog Sees God. She has also worked on shows outside of college such as Somewhere in Nevada, with the Young Actors Studio, and We Look to the Stars, at the Huntington Gardens with the LA Opera. As a teen, Faith worked on several Upstage shows as an Assistant Costume Designer. Faith join Upstage officially as a Costume Designer in the Spring of 2021 and has had an amazing experience working on the summer Upstage camps.