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Bruce W. Crews – President

Susanna Hopper – Vice President

Nate Baldermann – Treasurer

Melissa McElhone – Secretary

Jacob Ellis

Karen Gerring
Mandee Howard

Wendy Lake

Doug Meyers

Rebecca Onnen

Steven Owsley

Katie Meyers – Administrative Director


You do not have to be interested in being on-stage or backstage in order to be on the board of directors, as we are always in need of those talented in business, organizational development, marketing and more to help keep this non-profit running smoothly.  We are looking for dedicated people, who are passionate about bringing theater to the Jackson community, with a variety of backgrounds and talents.  Do you know someone that fits this description?  Feel free to forward this information to them and suggest that they contact us for more information about our needs in the upcoming season!


If you or someone you know would like to help Center Stage Jackson in its mission of cultivating, advancing, and promoting the appreciation of dramatic arts in the Jackson community, contact us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it !

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Board Meetings 2016-2017


Unless otherwise noted, all board meetings take place at Jackson’s First Presbyterian Church, 743 W. Michigan Ave., Jackson, MI 49201, on the first Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm.  Board meetings are open to all members.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Monday, November 7, 2016 at 7pm (date and time moved due to Fiddler on the Roof’s production week)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tuesday, April 11, 2017 (date moved from April 5 due to Spring Break)

Tuesday, May 2, 2017 (location moved to Jackson County Dept. of Transportation)

Tuesday, June 13, 2017 (date moved due to Shrek the Musical's Tech Week)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017 (date moved from July 4 due to Independence Day)

Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Tuesday August 15, 2017 Annual Meeting & Awards Ceremony

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Board Member Biographies


**The date following each board member’s name indicates the year that board member’s current term ends.


Bruce Crews, President (2017)

Bruce has been involved with Center Stage Jackson for the last three years.  He has appeared in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2014, Naphtali), Spamalot (2015, Not Dead Fred/Guard/Minstrel), and 1776 (2016, John Hancock).  In addition, he has served as Artistic Director for The Iliad, The Odyssey, and All of Greek Mythology in 99 minutes or Less (2015), Technical Director for The Addams Family (2014) and Gypsy (2015), and Audio Engineer for Scrooge (2013).  Prior to becoming involved with Center Stage, Bruce served for two years on the board of Measure for Measure, a 100 voice men’s choir in the Ann Arbor area, as a member-at-large and as Secretary.  He is a licensed attorney, and currently works for the Jackson County Probate Court as Probate Register.


Susanna Hopper, Vice President (2018)

Susanna has been involved in theatre since she was seven years old. Her favorite thing is working behind the scenes to make productions happen. Susanna has a degree in theatre and business and was a paid stage manager for three years.  She enjoys sunsets and long walks on the beach.


Nate Baldermann, Treasurer (2017)


Melissa McElhone, Secretary (2018)

Melissa has been acting & directing for almost 25 years. Melissa has a Bachelor of Arts in Theater and English from Cleveland State University and a Master of Arts in Theater from Wayne State University. Melissa joined Center Stage Jackson in August 2013. Melissa performed in Scrooge The Musical where she enjoyed playing Mrs. Fezziwig, a townsperson and Assistant Director to Lisa Cryderman; Harvey as Veta Louise Simmons; Director of Center Stage’s Youth Theater production of Pied Piper, The Musical; and Joseph as one of Jacob’s wives and Chorus. Melissa also directed The Addams Family and the youth production of Oz! The Musical with 92 excited, wonderful kids!  Melissa currently works as the Artistic Director of the Western High School Theater Arts Program.


Jacob Ellis (2019)

Jacob Ellis first enjoyed the technical side of theatre as a student at Western High School, specifically light and sound engineering. He was absent from the theater scene while studying Fire Science at Baker College, but has since gotten involved with Center Stage Jackson helping with props for Arsenic and Old Lace and box office for 1776. Jacob is Fire Fighter 1 & 2 certified, and currently works at UPS and Spring Arbor Lumber. He brings skills to the organization including safety consciousness, previous experience with technical theatre, and a passion for getting things done correctly.


Karen Gerring (2019)

Karen Gerring has a degree in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University. She taught at the middle school level until the birth of her first child. Karen and her husband now have six children ranging in age from twenty to nine. She continued to teach by educating her own children as well as volunteering in homeschool support groups as well as at her church. Karen and her family moved to the Jackson area about twelve years ago and were happy to discover Center Stage Jackson. She first became involved with CSJ because of her children participating in the Youth Theater. Karen was elected to the board in 2015 and has since served on various committees and has acted as producer and prop assistant.  She is happy to again serve on the board to help bring excellent community theater to the Jackson area.  Karen hopes to make more people aware of our organization and keep live theater accessible to the community.

Mandee Howard (2017)


Wendy Lake (2019)

I have participated with Center Stage Jackson since January 2015. I especially enjoy helping with CSJ’s Youth Theater. I’ve participated in two youth productions as the stage manager: Oz! The Musical and Charleston. I was also the props mistress for the main stage production of Gypsy. I have also helped in neighboring community theaters as stage help and with set construction.

As a member of the CSJ Board of Directors, my hope is to see CSJ expand into the community. I hope to help make Jackson and surrounding areas aware of and more involved with everything community theater has to offer. Someday, I hope to see CSJ have its own facility.

I have been employed at Avery Oil & Propane Inc. for 19 years, married for 10 and we are recently empty nesters. I needed to find my new niche, and CSJ has fulfilled this for me. I’m so thankful for friends that have introduced and pointed me in this direction. I have met so many wonderfully talented people and have made some lifelong friends.


Doug Meyers (2017)

Doug has served on the CSJ Board since 2008.  He currently holds the position of chair of the Youth Theater committee, a post he has held for the last eight years.  He has previously served as the organization's Treasurer and three terms as President.  During the past season, he served as President, produced the Youth Theater production Rumpelstiltskin, Private Eye and directed Charleston!.  Doug believes that the priorities of the organization are as follows (in no particular order):

  • Maintain the financial viability of the organization

  • Maintain strong relations with our venue hosts (Jackson College, Jackson Public Schools, First Presbyterian Church, JSO, etc.)

  • Select productions that are appealing to the community and economically viable

  • Update the CSJ website

  • Continue to promote awareness of CSJ in Jackson and surrounding areas

  • Continue to develop depth in technical positions through training programs

  • Recognize the contributions of all the organization's volunteers


Rebecca Onnen (2018)
"I've always been a morning person, a morning girl... Hooray!" "How can I hope to make you understand, why I do what I do?" "Oh what the heck, I must confess, I love a road trip!" "Money is the world's curse... May the Lord smite me with it.  And may I never recover."  "On the other hand..." "Things are looking up."  "It's a big bright beautiful world, with possibilities everywhere, and just around the bend, there's a friend or two."  "And in the circle of our little village, we've always had our special types." "You may ask, 'How did this tradition get started?' I'll tell you... I don't know." "I think I got you beat, but we all learn." "'Cause there are rules and there are strictures." "Why shouldn't I want the best?" "One season following another, laden with happiness and tears."  "And if our good fortune never comes, here's to whatever comes."  "Ever after better get here" "A perfect happy ending, that's how it should be..." It won't be long now, I guarantee" "I know it's today!"

Steven Owsley (2019)