Nicole Cassesso (Executive Director)
Nicole Cassesso is an actor, singer, dancer and producer. She developed a lifelong passion and love for the arts at a very early age, taking the stage for the first time at three years-old and never looking back. She has studied art, music, and dance but found a home in theater, performing throughout Southern California, most notably taking home the 2002 Macy Awards for Best Actress and Best Comedienne in a musical for her portrayal of Adelaide in Guys and Dolls. Other favorite roles include Velma in Chicago, Amy in Company, Gertrude in Seussical, Sally Brown in You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Mona Kent in Dames At Sea, Diana Morales in A Chorus Line, Gloria in Damn Yankees, Logainne in Spelling Bee, Ursula in Bye Bye Birdie, Patty Simcox in Grease and Cinderella in Into The Woods. She can also be seen as the lead in the award-winning Scenarios USA/Showtime short, "Lipstick" directed by Academy Award winner, Michael Apted (Nell, Gorillas in the Midst, The Coal Miners Daughter) and in the webseries, "The Uninfected" (www.theuninfected.com).
Nicole continues to study voice, acting, and dance and has trained at many prominent institutions including South Coast Repertory, Saddleback College, Broadway Dance Center, with renowned commercial and theatrical coaches Stuart K. Robinson and David Cady, as well as with Jill Goodsell at The Grande-Goodsell Institute for the Arts and Humanities. Nicole is also a graduate of California State University Fullerton with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Communications with an emphasis in Entertainment Studies.
Off stage, Nicole found a love for working behind the scenes as Executive Director for One More Productions. In 2004, Nicole and Damien Lorton co-founded, One More Productions with the hope of creating and producing quality theater at a professional level and an affordable cost, making the arts accessible for everyone in the community. In 2008, One More Productions embraced the City of Garden Grove and the historic GEM Theater as its permanent home. Since co-founding One More Productions, Nicole has produced over 30 fully staged musicals, plays, new works, events and fundraisers, helping to raise over $100,000 for other non-profit organizations. One More Productions has teamed with community organizations such as The Speech and Language Development Center, The Rotary Club and The Orange County Imperial Court to host events and fundraisers for the organizations various philanthropic causes as well as The City of Garden Grove, to provide events for youth of the community. OMP also teamed with the Garden Grove Unified School District to host educational field trips, knowing the importance of theatre for children, not only as an outlet, but also as an educational tool. She has been honored with The Paul Harris Fellow Award, The St. James Family Honors Award as well as being recognized by The City of Garden Grove in appreciation of significant contributions made to the community.
Nicole currently divides her time between Southern California and New York City, where she is continuing her acting career. She is thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to create theater at The GEM and is grateful for all the love and support of One More Productions. She looks forward to seeing you at the theater!