Our staff is a small, diverse group with rich backgrounds in education, theatre, music, film, gender and cultural studies. Due to the size of our organization, we all work very hard and wear many hats to make each element of every project a meaningful and educational experience.

Core Staff


MelMelanie Closs is the founder and director of The Other Side. In 2009, she created her first solo performance with original music of The Other Side in San Francisco, exploring cultural competency and what it means to be an “other”. After a video/street performance (by Samantha Cornwell) and an ensemble incarnation of The Other Side in New York City, she embarked on a 9 month round-the-world journey in 2010, which included teaching and directing at Pardada-Pardadi Educational Society in Uttar Pradesh, India, and performing her final two-woman version of The Other Side based on her cultural experiences of traveling, called Hang Up The Moon at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After 2 years as Educational Director of Green Theatre Collective, Melanie is re-igniting The Other Side with this project empowering girls in Brooklyn, teens in New York City, and girls of all ages in Anupshahr, India, through cross-cultural exchange, theatre, and music. When not focused on this project, Melanie is a singer/songwriter as Mela, and she gives private voice, guitar, and ukulele lessons in Brooklyn.



professional picPhyllis Ellington is a true global citizen. Her travels–along with her education in Human Development and Global Studies–has refined her ability to support and develop organizations that serve a variety of people worldwide. Her ability to establish organizational strategy is complimented by her current academic coursework in Urban Policy Analysis and Management at The New School. She is committed to developing platforms for intercultural dialogue and obtaining social justice for underserved populations. Phyllis looks forward to leading The Other Side in new and dynamic development strategies. Fun fact- Phyllis is a proud pet parent to Sandypoopoo, an adorable and playful Maltipoo!


Ashley+Nease_Headshot+1Ashley Nease is a theater maker, writer, filmmaker, and fundraiser. Her successful development experience with affordable housing organizations and other socially responsible non-profits, has emboldened her to continue to search for funding for important causes. Living abroad and traveling the globe fostered her interest in cross-cultural understanding and advocacy. She strongly believes that art and empowered imaginations are necessary to create positive change. When she isn’t happily searching for grants for The Other Side, she can be found sitting on her roof in Brooklyn, memorizing lines or reading science fiction.


lucy 2Lucy Andersen works at the Brooklyn-based graphic design studio, Eight and a Half. She graduated from Harvard University in 2012 with a degree in the History of Art and Architecture, and she traveled to southern India in the summer of 2010 to volunteer at a rural artists’ village. Therefore, she is particularly excited to be part of the ongoing cross-cultural arts initiatives of The Other Side. Upon joining The Other Side in 2013, Lucy inspired us with her visual concept for our brand and has designed our logo, newsletters, flyers, postcards and press kit.




Prashant picPrashant is having immense experience in Training & Development, Talent Acquisition, Quality, Operations, IT and running a Call Center individually in remote area. He is an MBA (Finance) with Six Sigma (Black Belt). He has more than 7 years of rich and varied experience with IBM & Fidelity.



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