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Meet the core!

STAMP has a company of more than 100 performers, activists, techies, producers, directors, and creative artists, as well as the core officer team below.  Meet the core!

Heidi Thorsen (Executive Director) is a senior majoring in both English and Drama.  She is committed to promoting interfaith dialogue and cooperation, a cause that she will be exploring in greater depth while producing The Merchant of Venice this winter as her senior project in collaboration with STAMP.  She also has interest and experience in the areas of set design, publicity design, and playwriting.  She can be reached at

Alex Holtzman (Financial Officer) is a senior majoring in political science. Alex was stage manager for the STAMP Fall 2009 production The Exonerated and was light designer for the Spring 2009 show Bent.  One of Alex's favorite experiences with STAMP was performing in Out of Sight, Out of Mind, a presentation of monologues anonymously submitted by Stanford students about their experiences and struggles with mental health on campus. Last summer he was a Stanford Public Interest Law Fellow, working with the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and over the past few years has interned with the San Francisco Mayor's and District Attorney's Offices.  He is the author of an article, "The Party's Not Over But the Crowd's Getting Thin," published in the Concord Review, which argues that the absence of third parties in American politics has led to the disenfranchisement of large portions of the electorate. Alex can be reached at

Safiya Nygaard (Artistic Director) is a Drama major and the director STAMP's production of Death and the Maiden this year.  She can be reached at

Alena Balgobin (Core Member) was born and raised in the small Caribbean island of Barbados. She moved with her family to New York when she was 10 years old. She is currently a junior at Stanford University where she plans to major in Psychology and is pre-med. She is currently the co-chair of QSA and a member of the STAMP Core. She is very interested in Women's Rights, Queer Rights, and Immigrant's Rights. Some of Alena's hobbies including cooking, writing poetry, and dancing. She has little theater/activist experience; however, she is very intrigued by both and is looking forward to making Stanford and the community at large a more understanding and accepting place for all persons regardless of their multiple identities. Alena can be reached at

Camille Brown (Core Member) can be reached at

Insiya Jafferjee (Core Member) is a sophomore and is currently undecided. She participated in STAMP'S Hijabi Monologues and directed Neither for STAMP's 2010 Spring into Action.  She can be reached at

Founding Members

Amanda Gelender (Founding Executive Director) is pursuing a double major in Drama and Political Science. At Stanford, Amanda has performed in 11 productions and produced 15 shows, also having performed in more than 30 plays and musicals with theatre companies across the Bay Area. Her Stanford acting credits include: Cabaret (Fraulein Schneider), The Mineola Twins (Jim/Sarah), Hair (Claude), Goliath (Sandy), The Wiz (Addaperle), and In Darfur (Maryka). Her Stanford producing credits include: Bent, Out of Sight Out of Mind, Jazzing, and 2 seasons of Stanford Summer Theater Festival productions: Africa Onstage (2007) and the Electra Festival (2009). Amanda is a Public Service Leaders Fellow at the Haas Center for Public Service where she also works as a Communications Assistant. 

Alex Mallory (Founding Artistic Director) is currently trying to make her way as a director in NYC. She and Amanda conceived STAMP over salads at Pluto's in Spring of 2006 in response to a lack of political theatre on campus, and she could not be prouder of what STAMP has become since her graduation. STAMP directing credits include In Darfur, Typical American and two pieces for STAMP’s 2009 Spring Into Action Festival. Other Stanford directing credits: Goliath (KCACTF regional finalist) and Cabaret for Ram's Head Theatrical Society, A Crooked Line for AATP and Security for the Stanford Drama Department. Assistant Directing: NYC: Babes in Toyland (Little Orchestra Society), The Bereaved (Partial Comfort Productions), San Francisco: The K of D (Magic Theatre), Wormhole (Crowded Fire). She has interned at Lark Play Development Center, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), The Public Theater, Magic Theatre and Crowded Fire Theatre Company. While at Stanford, she received a Haas Center Community Arts Fellowship, the Louis Sudler Prize in Creative Arts, the Sherifa Omade Edoga Prize for work involving social issues and the Kennedy Center’s Student Directing Award for Goliath. Alex can be reached at

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