Board of Directors

Current Board of Directors

(Serving a two year term, September 2019 to August 2021)

Christine Abitabile

Christine Abitabile, President, is proud to be a founding member of Upstage.  Christine owns and operates her own bookkeeping business, helps out her husband with his driving school, teaches QuickBooks for the adult non-credit course at Columbia-Greene Community College and is a certified QuickBooks consultant.  In her "spare" time Christine volunteers her time as Treasurer with the Hudson Flag Day Parade Committee, ushers at MacHaydn Theatre, maintains an updated data base for her class reunion, is a member of the Columbia County Sons & Daughters of Italy # 659, and serves on the board of the Questar III Cosmetology Consultant Committee.

Kathy Overington
Vice President

Kathy’s first experience with Upstage Productions was when her son Devin volunteered to help with tech needs for a spring 2008 production of High School Musical at Columbia-Greene Community College. She has been on the Board of Upstage since August of 2009 in the role of Representative at Large or Vice President. Most often Kathy can be found behind the scenes assisting on the tech side of Upstage productions or behind a camera documenting events/productions as the Upstage historian. Technical work is very much a part of her professional life too; Kathy retired from her Software Engineer job at IBM after 30 years and is currently in an encore career as a Sr. QA Analyst, testing software, for the American National Insurance Company. She also serves as a trustee on the board of the Germantown Library.

Frances Winig
Production Coordinator

Frances started her involvement with Upstage during the summer of 2009. She joined the board in July 2014 as a Representative at Large. Since then, Frances has also served as Vice President and is currently the Production Coordinator. For a majority of the shows, you will usually find her backstage, making sure scene changes run smoothly. Outside of Upstage Frances works in the Office of Records and Registration at Columbia-Greene Community College.

Nancy Leonard

Nancy joined the Upstage Productions company as a dancer for the production of “42nd Street” in 2003, and continued on with “Music Man” in 2004.  Later in 2004, she joined the Board as a Representative-at-Large; and has served as Treasurer and Corresponding Secretary.  Over the years she has worked behind the scenes and has performed in the ensemble for several productions.  She recently rejoined the Board as Treasurer. “Community Theater is an opportunity for veteran actors to perform with and mentor newcomers, and offers many behind the scene roles, in addition to those on-stage.”  It has always intrigued Nancy to watch the entire process of a production from the very thought of “what show should we do”, through the final curtain and returning the venue to its original state. In her professional life, Nancy works in the Office of the Dean of Administration at Columbia-Greene Community College.

Daniel Gregory

Daniel was born and raised in Hudson and currently lives in Hudson. He has been a Licensed Practical Nurse for the past 18 years and is currently employed at Columbia Memorial Hospital. His love of theater started with his participation in every show produced from head start until his senior year at Hudson High School. His relationship with Upstage productions began with Jesus Christ Superstar. In 1994, Dan was cast as the Cowardly Lion, and he reprised the role 20 years later. His favorite role by far was Upstage’s production of Hairspray, where he embraced the role of Edna Turnblad. He also has had the chance to work stage crew for various shows and has now accepted role of secretary for the board of Upstage Productions. “The theater is a great release for all involved and the relationships formed help to keep you humble.”

Andy Baker
Representative at Large

Andy has served on the board of Upstage Productions for the past 11 years where he has held roles of President, Administrative VP, and Representative at Large. He can often be found covering production ticketing duties and greeting show patrons. Although not an actor himself, Andy enjoys theatre and looks forward to watching and helping Upstage grow! In his professional life, he works in the Office of Admissions at Columbia-Greene Community College. 

Tom Fisher
Representative at Large

Tom is a native Hudsonian, He graduated from St.Bonaventure University and received his Master's Degree from Sage Graduate School.  He also served in the U.S. Army with the highest rank obtained of Captain. Tom has been involved with Upstage Productions for over 20 years, serving in the roles of President, Vice President, and Representative at Large. His first involvement was as a performer in "Oliver" in 1997, alongside his daughter. Since then Tom has performed in a number of main stage shows, cabarets and murder mysteries. The highlight of his performances was the opportunity to perform with all three of his children, Caterina, Julianna and Antonio, during a production of "Music Man" in 2003. Tom is most proud of the Board's efforts to expand their visibility in the community and  to experiment with new genres including all children productions and After Dark Productions.

Andrea Mastrianni
Representative at Large

Andrea has been involved with Upstage Productions practically since its inception as the Columbia Players.  She is a retired music teacher, having taught at the Hudson City School District since 1983. She  has been a piano accompanist and pit performer off and on with the company since the 1990’s. She has also been a set designer and scenery painter for various productions. She has been the musical director of many productions and was very proud to be the Director of Upstage Productions’ “Mary Poppins”.  She joined the board in 2020 and looks forward to continuing to assist in creating high quality musical theater.

Mary Ellen Pierro
Representative at Large

Mary Ellen joined Upstage Productions in 1993 when she performed in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” as a nurse. This role was a good fit for her, being that she is a nurse in her professional life.  Mary Ellen has served on the Upstage board in the roles of President, Corresponding Secretary, and Representative at Large.  A school trip to see “Grease” on Broadway began her love of theater.  She was in a play every year in high school including “Mame”, “The Boyfriend”, “Wizard of Oz”, “The Music Man” and “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds”.  “Jesus Christ Superstar”, in 1994, was the last Upstage production Mary Ellen performed in. Since then she has taken her valuable skills off-stage with Upstage!

Michele Pierro
Representative at Large

Michele, a founding member of Upstage, has held the offices of President, Vice President and Representative at Large. She has directed, assistant directed, and performed in many shows over the years, with the original companies - Columbia Hall Players, Hudson Middle School Friends of the Arts, and Upstage Productions. She holds a B.S. in Speech and Theater from Iowa State University, an M.S. and Certificate of Advanced Study in Educational Administration from the College of Saint Rose and has worked at the Berkshire Theater Festival and several regional companies. Michele retired from a career with the NYCDOE and is currently an instructor at Cornell University. She continues to look forward to supporting the work Upstage does, bringing quality productions to the community, and providing valuable opportunities and experiences to its talented youth.

Heather Tuey
Representative at Large

Heather Tuey started her journey with Upstage Productions as part of the ensemble of “Bye Bye Birdie” in the Fall of 2012. She has also performed the roles of Sister Robert Ann in “Nunsense” (2013) and Joey Verricone in “Bingo Spells Murder” (2019). Heather has served as a Representative at Large since 2014. Outside of Upstage she works in the hospitality industry and enjoys traveling.

Emily Ward-Nueckel
Representative at Large

Emily is a newer member of the Upstage Board, having joined in 2019 as a Representative at Large. Since joining she has assisted with stage management for “Bingo Spells Murder” and “Holiday Follies”.  Emily is a graduate of the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and has a BS degree in Drama Therapy from the City University of New York. As a psychiatric nurse, she has worked extensively on productions with patients, and has also worked on several off-Broadway productions; her interest in directing continues with Upstage.

Candace Wood
Representative at Large

Candace first began working with Upstage Productions when she was cast as Penny Pingleton in the fall 2011 production of Hairspray.  She loved the organization so much she quickly began attending board meetings and became a member of the board of directors in January of 2012.  Since then Candace has been in numerous productions with Upstage and has choreographed and directed as well.  When not working with Upstage Candace can be found working as a registered nurse, or chasing after her two young children.