Claire Wahrhaftig - Chair
San Francisco native and East Bay resident Claire Isaacs Wahrhaftig is on the Stagebridge board, but coming to Stagebridge as a student was just the latest in a series of adventures for Claire, who earned a B.A. in Speech and Drama and an M.A. in Art History from Claremont Graduate University. In addition, she lived in Israel for three years and studied Hebrew as part of her desire to learn more about Jewish history. She has also had a career in arts administration, including working for The Committee for Arts and Lectures at U.C. Berkeley (now Cal Performances), education programming at SF MOMA, and serving as Executive Director of the San Francisco Arts Commission. She is currently active as a board member of the Treasure Island Museum. Aside from storytelling classes at Stagebridge, she recently performed at The Marsh's popular "Tell It On Tuesday."
Marcia Grossman has been an active Stagebridge student since 2009, taking classes such as Acting, Singing with Scrumbly, and Musical Theater, plus attending summer camp four times. A retired Human Resources professional, she formerly served as head of HR for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and The Urban Institute as well as operating her own HR consulting company, which focused on the needs of non-profits in the Washington, D.C. area. Marcia earned an M.S. in Personnel & Industrial Relations from American University and a B.A. in English from Rutgers University. She is a past president of the Human Resources Association of the National Capital Area, serving on their Board of Directors for five years before retiring to the Bay Area in 1998.
Nader Robert Shabahangi, Ph.D.
Nader is co-founder and CEO of AgeSong, next generation communities in northern California that support the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being of elders. He is co-author of Deeper Into the Soul, aimed at de-stigmatizing and broadening understanding of dementia, and is also a licensed psychotherapist, and a frequent lecturer on aging, counseling, and dementia.
Lynne Hollander credits Stagebridge with helping her to fulfill a childhood dream of being an actress, having been chosen to create the part of Amanda in a production of Lauren Gunderson's By and By at the Shotgun Players theatre. She's a retired Children's Librarian and Library Media Teacher who has been involved with Stagebridge for about ten years, participating in Musical Theatre, Improv and Acting, including performing with the Antic Witties improv troupe. She serves as Chairperson of the Mario Savio Young Activist Award, and for eighteen years produced the Mario Savio Memorial Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley. She also served as Associate Producer for the Stagebridge production of [FSM], a play with music that was performed at Berkeley Rep in 2014.
Joseph Grossman spends his time singing, dancing and enjoying creative pursuits after a lifetime of working. Retiring in 1998 after 30 years in Engineering and Program Management for the Department of Defense and serving as a member of the federal Senior Executive Service for 16 years, Joe spent almost a decade in various capacities, including treasurer and VP for the town of Chevy Chase, MD. His experience also includes serving as Chairman of the initial Economic Development Board for the city of El Cerrito and serving on a committee to review the city’s economic planning. Additionally, he has served on the board for Kol Hadash Jewish Congregation, and on the National Board of Directors for the Society for Humanistic Judaism. He has been an active member of Stagebridge for almost a decade— taking classes in Acting, Singing and Musical Theater— and appreciates the nurturing environment at the senior theatre. “I had never sung before,” he says. “Stagebridge has given me something challenging that I never thought I’d do. Everybody pulls together and supports each other.”
Eleanor Clement Glass
Eleanor comes to Stagebridge with a 23-year background in Philanthropy, beginning at the San Francisco Foundation, where she was responsible for the regional grantmaking and community initiatives of the SF Foundation. An active member of Bay Area Blacks in Philanthropy and Asian and Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy, Eleanor brings commitment to creating a better and more just world, including a decade as Chief Giving Officer at the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, where she helmed grantmaking and community initiatives programs and the donor education and engagement departments. Additionally, she led public policy initiatives and worked with members of the California State Assembly and Senate to pass bills blocking payday lending and other predatory lending.
She has also worked at the David and Lucile Packard Foundation and has served as Vice President of The Foundation Incubator, which provided turn-key consultant services for new foundations in the South Bay and training programs for philanthropy professionals. Additionally, her experience also includes two decades in education, working as an instructor in the Education department at San Francisco State University, Early Childhood Education and Child Development and Parent Education, working in programs that supported migrant families in the Central Valley and poor families throughout California, among other things.
With her retirement comes a renewal of creativity, as Eleanor found Stagebridge through Summer Camp where she discovered storytelling. Since then, she has taken several acting classes and recently completed the two-year E.P.I.C. Storytelling Program at Stagebridge.
Mel Terry retired from UC Berkeley in 2007 after almost 30 years as a physical therapist, where he provided safety training and ergonomic assessments for various campus departments and participated in designing the PT department when the new health facility was created in 1991. His specialty areas included performing arts PT and holistic health. Mel is active in the community, serving on the boards of the Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus and of Friends of the Montclair Railroad Trail, and volunteering with the Coalition of Concerned Medical Professionals (CCMP) for the last 42 years.
In 2000, he graduated from a four-year Feldenkrais ® (Awareness Through Movement) training, and he taught a Feldenkrais workshop at Stagebridge in 2017.
Joining Stagebridge in 2009, Mel’s studies have included French Cabaret, Commedia del Arte, and Musical Theatre, and he was in the 2013 Stagebridge play “Counter Attack.” He loves being a member of the Stagebridge community, is a supporter and donor and has served on the Development Committee helping to produce the 2018 Gala.
Stuart Kandell - Founder, Emeritus Executive Director & Board member (1978 -2013)