The Board of Directors (click on a picture to learn more about our members)
Spencer Kate Nelson: President, Board of Directors
Spencer has been performing on stage since a very young age as an actress, singer, and dancer. Born and raised in Bowie, MD she has had the honor of being on stages all over Prince George's, Anne Arundel, and Howard Counties as well as a few others here and there. She was trained at the American Music and Dramatics Academy in New York City, NY in Musical Theatre Performance and is also a Certified Makeup Artist. She has most recently taken the stage as "Alice" in The Addams Family, "Lala Levy" in The Last Night of Ballyhoo, "Jane Bennett" in Pride and Prejudice, and "Charlotte" in Charlotte's Web. She is excited to bring her knowledge to UpStage Artists and continue to learn and grow with the community and her fellow board members.
John Cusamano: Treasurer, Board of Directors
John ran his own theater company Over the Edge Productions for seven years. He studied the Meisner Method with Vince Bandille and Directing with Michael Harron. John has been acting for over 20 years. He taught acting to young people and teens. John has performed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and now Maryland. John 's play Little Marie & Sal meet Carmine the Fish won second place in a play festival in New York. One of John's favorite roles was Uncle Louie in Lost in Yonker were he played opposite his son.
Rick Bergmann: Member at large, Board of Directors
Rick has been involved in the arts since he was a teenager. He has managed several successful companies and groups. He is former President of the Board of Directors and producer of the Prince George's Summer Teen Theatre, one of the longest-running teen theater groups in the country at the time. He is also the founder and former artistic director of The Parkland Players, the theater group at Parkland Magnet Middle School for Aerospace Technology in Rockville, MD. He has directed shows throughout the State of Maryland. Although he appears on stage, he is a director at heart.
Harsha Vardhan: Member at large, Board of Directors
Originally from India, Harsha came to the US 14 years ago and currently lives in Maryland, he has been involved in the arts since very young age. However, growing up, Harsha couldn’t pursue his acting career as he had two choices either become an Engineer/Doctor or get Disowned. He chose to be an engineer as he was sick for 3 days after dissecting a cockroach in his science class. Harsha has written several couplets and most recently he has started his own story blog. He likes to go backpacking on Appalachian Trail with his friend, that inspired him to write his story blog (in progress). Harsha likes to do standup comedy as well and has performed few times for family & friends in a limited manner. Harsha is very thankful to his son Om Vardhan as through him he was able to get in contact with the wonderful Upstage-artists team. He is excited to be part of the Upstage Artist team and continue to learn and grow. Harsha wants to implement innovative theatrical experience that not only will entertain but also bring awareness and educate people about arts and certain matters, also help foster the unnoticed/underserved talents in the artistic society.
Michael Safko: Member at large, Board of Directors
Michael first started acting when he was about 10 years old and couldn't get enough of it throughout school. He began acting in community theater at the beginning of 2019, nearly a decade after his last performance in High School and was equally entranced. He has been seen in several shows since then, particularly in theaters around Prince George's County. An artist at heart, he also enjoys writing and drawing comics in his spare time. He is happy to keep theater as a large part of his life with UpStage Artists and is excited for the future of this company.