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The CSP Board

Who We Are

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Jennifer Byers

Board Member

Jennifer is former "Theater Kid," and enjoys working with the stage crew, creating props, and helping with production. She studied music and communication arts at Loyola Marymount University. She works as an elementary school teacher and enjoys figure skating and home projects.

Amy Cowden

 Board Member

Amy is a proud parent of a CSP actor since 2014 and joined the board in 2021. During this time, she has enjoyed working with the stage right crew and recently took on being a script supervisor. She also enjoys assisting the fundraising committee by building baskets of goodies for our opportunity drawings. Amy has been an adjunct professor at San Diego State University in the Hospitality & Tourism Management department since 2017. Prior to that, she worked in the Meetings & Events industry for over 25 years. Her other board experience includes VP of Memberships for Professional Convention Management Association, and VP of Education as well as President for the Meeting Professionals International association.

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Melissa Fernandes

Board Member

Melissa is a professional performer and has appeared in over 70 productions all over the San Diego region, including the La Jolla Playhouse, Lamb’s Players Theatre, The Welk, New Village Arts, Cygnet Theatre (Resident Artist), Moxie Theatre and Diversionary Theatre. She is a multiple San Diego Critics Circle nominee and won Actor of the Year in 2016 for her body of work. She received her MFA in Musical Theatre from San Diego State University and her Bachelors in Theatre from UNLV. Some of her most memorable roles are Audrey and Mushnik in Little Shop of Horrors,  Dot in Sunday in the Park with George,  Mama Rose in Gypsy, Duchess in Big River, The Baker’s Wife in Into the Woods,  Trina in Falsettos as well as Producer of Cygnet Theatre’s successful cabaret series Musical Mondays. She became involved with Center Stage Productions when her daughter auditioned for Hairspray in 2018. She joined the Board in 2021, leading Hair/ Makeup design for shows as well as participating in the DEIAA and Social Media Committees.

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Rachel Dunford

Board Member

Rachel became involved with CSP when her daughter began performing in shows.  She started with CSP working on the creation of props and working backstage for every show, and has added to that the role of Executive Board member.  She assists in many aspects of running this non-profit and finds it to be such a valuable asset to our community providing such a professional experience to the youth in our area.  Her background is in real estate and business in general, which helps when it comes to understanding the financial side of this organization.   Working with CSP is a priority not just an option and she  will always treasure what this organization has given our family and every family that enters through the doors.

Amanda Keenan

Board Member

Amanda is a proud parent of three CSP performers. She started her journey with theater in 2017 with Broadway Theatre Arts Academy. She began working with Center Stage Productions in 2021 and became a board member in 2022. Amanda loves the hard work of bringing characters to life through costume design. Amanda also enjoys reading, crocheting, and doing laundry. Just kidding about the laundry. She hates doing laundry


Lisa Harris-Schiewe

Board Member Emeritus 

Lisa is a founding member of the board and currently handles most of the tech, sound and graphic design related tasks for CSP.  Her three boys grew up doing musical theater with CSP and our whole family was enriched by our involvement in this wonderful group.  Lisa is a software engineer for Sony Network Entertainment and enjoys singing with the Encore Vocal Ensemble in her spare time.  She and her wife Sherrie live in La Mesa.​


Lori Paris

Board Member

Lori Paris has over 20 years experience working with children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities. She currently works as an educator and coach for the non-profit, PathPoint. Her work includes providing creative, Person Centered programming to help individuals reach their goals. She uses Dialectical Behavior Therapy to teach strategies and skills to help people live their best lives. After joining CSP with her daughter in 2015, Lori remains passionate about the power of storytelling and the growth and transformation young actors experience in an educational and supportive environment.

Jill Perez

Board Member

Jill has been a volunteer with CSP since 2016 working Front of House and during rehearsals. She joined the board in 2020 and is currently in charge of the front of house sales. Jill has been a teacher with the Escondido Union School District for 20 years where she has taught the Gifted and Talented Students. For the last 15 years, she has been producing musicals for 1-5 graders at Juniper Elementary. She has also been either President or Treasurer of the Juniper PTA for the last 6 years.  Juniper Elementary Teacher of the Year 2018.

Mary Smiljkovich

Board Member

Mary joined CSP as a parent volunteer in 2014 and became an advisory board member in 2021. She currently serves on the Fundraising Subcommittee and helps manage the front-of-house sales. Two of her four children have been CSP performers. Mary has over 25 years of experience in childhood education between her past employment and volunteer work. She advocates for child safety and providing a safe environment for all students. In May, she will be completing her bachelor's degree in Human Development from California State University-San Marcos.


Stevee Taylor

Board Member

Stevee has been a board member since 2015 and supports CSP by serving as a member of the Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility (EDIAA) committee, as well as assisting with marketing, fundraising, and strategy development. She has over 10 years of experience in corporate banking, management, and finance and currently works as a Director for Wells Fargo Bank’s Corporate and Investment Banking Division. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, Chris, and two children, Archer and Lyra.

Tony Wood

Board Member

Tony has been involved with CSP since 2005 and became a board member in 2006.  He is responsible for lighting, set, and stage management for our shows. A tech theater enthusiast since junior high school he has worked with several community theater groups in San Diego.  Now retired, he directed the Academic Computing Services department at UCSD.

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Farah Rahman

Board Member

Bio coming soon.

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