Melissa Fortson – President
Melissa was bitten by the acting bug at the age of five in a church Christmas play. She continued doing small shows in her spare time at school, church, and in the community throughout the majority of her schooling. She was even a television movie critic for a short time on MPT in high school. She graduated from Towson University where she studied the craft of acting, as well as stage design and construction, direction, mime, and theatrical dance. Using her skills, she started, grew and choreographed for the Towson University Tigerettes Dance Team, which is still dancing and competing today. Between the Baltimore and New York areas, Melissa has performed in both plays and musicals, done voice over and radio commercial work, and starred in a weekly public television series called, “The Legend of Calhoun Creek,” where she played an 80-year old saloon owner, Amanda Titley, in the late 1800s. Other shows Melissa has been in include: “West Side Story”, “Whatever Happened to Rest on the 7th Day?”, “Wondrous”, “HMS Pinafore”, “The Little Foxes”, “Stepping Out”, “My Fair Lady”, “Nunsense”, “Nunsense 2 – Back in the Habit”, “The Odd Couple – Female Version”, “Avenue Q”, “Best Little Wh#rehouse in Texas”, “Hairspray”, “Little Shop of Horrors”, and “Ain’t Misbehavin'”. She has also directed “Honk!” and “Godspell.” By day, Melissa is a Learning and Development Specialist in Baltimore.
Jeff Baker – Vice President
Jeff was pulled into the theater world when he was asked to accompany on the piano a children’s theater production of Mary Poppins almost 20 years ago. Since then, he has gone on to musical direct, set design, costume, stage manage, choreograph, assistant direct and act in many plays and musicals throughout the Baltimore region. On stage his favorite roles have included Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, Willy Wonka in Willy Wonka and productions as Linus in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Jesus in Godspell. As musical director/pianist he has been involved in numerous productions including pianist and Musical Director for Smokey Joe’s Cafe at Artistic Synergy of Baltimore. By day, Jeff works as an Administrative Assistant at Towson University.
Lydia West – Secretary
Lydia is a Philadelphia native and lives in Baltimore County with her husband and son. Introduced to community theater in 2010, she has thoroughly enjoyed both working on stage and backstage. Since 2011, she has played Marlene in Daddy’s Dyin’…Who’s Got the Will?, Maggie Pie in Honk!, and The Mute in The Fantasticks. She has also been featured in Godspell, Parallel Lives, and Little Shop of Horrors. She recently had a directorial debut with Artistic Synergy of Baltimore’s production of Harvey.
Colby Areford – Treasurer
Colby is a resident of Baltimore County, an active member of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, and a scout leader. A dedicated family man, Colby took up the reins to join the Artistic Synergy of Baltimore board, along side his wife Monica. He has enjoyed watching his sons and wife grace the Artistic Synergy of Baltimore stage and is a frequent audience member, set builder and all around friend of the theater. By day, Colby works as an IT specialist.