Who We Are

photo by Matthew Sussman

Malinda Sorci, Mark Cajigao, Samantha Shechtman.
Photo: Matthew Sussman

theNEST is a nonprofit theater company committed to the development of contemporary and innovative theater. We are dedicated to playing an active role in the artistic education and expression of the community through progressive youth programs that foster the next generation of theater practitioners.

Malinda Sorci (Founder, Producing Artistic Director)
Malinda has collaborated with playwright Nick Starr on The Awesome Dance (Barrow Street Theatre and New School for Drama), Sleeping With (Live With Animals) and Playschool (Producer’s Club). Other NY directorial credits include: She Stoops to Conquer (BOCOCA Arts Festival), Janine’s Nabers Generation Graffiti (Sam French) and How the Nabers Family Found Their Soulfulness… (Producer’s Club), Tawny Sorensen’s All the Elements (Manhattan Rep), Josh Koenigsberg’s Haricut and a Cocktail (Old Vic/New Voices), Al Lefcowitz’s Philodendron (Brooklyn Playwrights Collective), Craig McNulty’s …and no one knows what you’re about and Tom Hoefner’s Family Portrait (Madair Productions), Jennie Berman-Eng’s The Rough Cut (Wonderland Festival), Churchill’s A Number (59E59), and David Adjmi’s Marie Antoinette, Rebeck’s Katie and Frank, Ionesco’s The Lesson, Scott Organ’s China (all at NSD). She received her MFA in Directing from The New School for Drama.

Samantha Shechtman (Founder, Producing Artistic Director)
Samantha loves theatre. Not only has she worked as director, but as stage manager, scenic, light, prop, and sound designer, master carpenter, running crew, and flyman. Sam holds a BA from Rutgers University and an MFA in Directing from The New School for Drama. Previous directorial ventures include: Six Degrees of Separation, Still Life, Baby with the Bathwater, The Play About the Baby (59E59), Sweeney Todd, Up, Down, Strange, Charmed, Beauty and Truth and The 100 Most Beautiful Names of Todd (NSD).

Mark Cajigao (Founder, Literary Manager, Company Member)
Mark is the co-founder and former editor in chief of taintmagazine.com, an online monthly literary magazine that published the best of new fiction, poetry, and plays by such talented writers as Will Eno. As an actor, Mark’s NY credits include: Broadway’s Rising Stars (Town Hall), Conspiracy: A Love Story (MITF), Neal Bell’s Shadow of Himself (Rabbit Hole), Guys & Dolls (The Heights Players), Picasso at the Lapin Agile (The Sackett Group), Nick Starr’s Sleeping With (Live With Animals), Twelfth Night, House of Desires (Storm Theatre), The London Cuckolds (Protean Theatre), A Number (59E59), plus Ionesco’s The Lesson, Shaw’s Man of Destiny, Adjmi’s Marie Antoinette and Nabers’s Juniper; Jubilee (all at NSD). Film/Television: Silly Little Game (ESPN), Blurry Beating (ESRA), The Fields (with Tara Reid and Cloris Leachman). MFA in Acting, The New School for Drama. http://www.cajigao.com

Estelle Bajou (Literary Assistant)
Estelle is a first generation French-American, raised in North Carolina. Mostly, she works as an actor, writer, producer, violinist-composer, and visual artist. Based in New York City, she has loved traveling all over the U.S., to Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, Europe, and the Middle East for projects. At age nineteen she earned a BA in Theatre and Creative Writing from Bard College at Simon’s Rock. She then earned an MFA in Acting from The New School for Drama. She has also had the good fortune to study with acclaimed acting coach and director Larry Moss. What she longs for as she approaches each new artistic opportunity is to continue—or begin, is it?—her development and practical education by working on material that feels perilous, unachievable, purposeful, and pleasurable, and with inspired collaborators who dazzle her with work beyond her current capacity. http://www.estellebajou.com

Aidan O’Shea (Director of Education)
Aidan ran away with the circus. After touring the globe he landed at the New School, and theNEST. He graduated with an acting MFA in May, having played in many original pieces and classics like The Crucible, The Pillars of Society, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, All’s Well That Ends Well, Cyrano de Bergerac, contemporary works like Red Light Winter, as well as staring in the Off-Broadway show Beckett at Greystones Bay at the Aurthur Seelen theater, and understudying Lorenzo Pisoni in the Manhattan Theater Company’s smash hit one-man show, Humor Abuse.

Andreas C. Tselepos (Producer, Europe)
Andreas is the founder of Cyprus-based Midas Touch Productions, which has collaborated with The Old Vic in London to produce touring productions in the amphitheaters of Cyprus every summer. He has produced such plays as Othello, Romeo and Juliet (with Kate Maberly) and The Merry Wives of Windsor. His last production, West End Story, toured Cyprus last summer to sold-out venues. Some of his favorite NYC directing credits include the original plays A Sleeping Country, The Falling Notes, Love Me, Margaret, Harold Pinter’s The Lover, and Old Times. Andreas has taught acting at Hofstra University and is a member of the Greek Cultural Center of New York. A native of Cyprus, he received a BFA in Theatre Arts from Hofstra University and MFA in Directing from The New School for Drama.

Joseph Samuel Wright (Playwright in Residence)
Joseph’s dance play, The Mask of Medusa, was produced in Central Park in October 2010. Prior to that, My Big, Thick Schtick (directed by our own Samantha Shechtman) premiered in July 2010 at the Shetler Studios Bridge Theatre. Other words include his original shorts Mary, Mary and Mommy Drinkest. Before moving to New York, his play Constellation Nightglow was hosted at the University of Tennessee, and from 2005–07 his LGBT–advocacy play Ours toured campuses in East Tennessee. Joseph’s works have received readings with the Lark Play Development Center, Roots and Wings, BE Theater, and NyLon Fusion. His play Unbecoming was a finalist in the SteppingStone Millennium Playwright Competition.


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