Meet the Company
KATI PRESTON · Founder & Chair of the Board
My name is Kati Preston, and I am the founder and the chair of The Hampstead Stage Company. I also speak about my fervent belief in the power of each one of us to make the world a better place, through tolerance. I was born in 1939, at the start of the Second World War, to a Hungarian Catholic mother and a Jewish father. My whole Jewish family of 28 members was exterminated in Auschwitz, but my life was saved by a Christian peasant girl, who hid me in her hay barn. I grew up in Hungary and Romania under communism, and then later immigrated to Israel. I studied in Paris, became a journalist and fashion designer in Israel, worked in fashion in New York, Lisbon, Milan and London where I ran my own large successful fashion business. After moving to the US, I started the theatre company, designed costumes, and got involved in local politics. I started speaking because, as time passes, there are very few survivors left. Recently I wrote a book about my life: “Holocaust to Healing. Closing the Circle”, and I am now working on a book for middle schools. I feel it is vitally important not to forget history. I not only speak for the dead, but through my life story, I hope to teach tolerance and acceptance.
DANIEL MATMOR · Founder
Daniel Matmor started his career training as a chef at the Savoy Hotel. Then, after working in various restaurants, he decided to leave all that glamour and become an actor. After time at Montview Drama school he toured for several years with a Shakespeare theatre company throughout Europe and America. His first film role was in Robert Altman’s Tanner 88. From there, Daniel went went on to cut out a niche career in Independent and art films. He’s worked in Africa,the Republic of Georgia, the Middle East, and the exotic eastern corner of Canada — New Brunswick, where he shot the award winning mini-series Canada Russia ’72. For this hockey series, Daniel had to speak primarily in Russian, learn everything there is to know about Hockey and freeze for 6 weeks on an ice rink in February. Daniel is a committed actor!
His other credits include: starring in Toby Hooper’s cult classic, The Mangler, opposite Ted Levine and Robert England, the award winning Prince of Sorrow, and the second World War drama The Poet, opposite Nina Dobrev and Darryl Hannah. Television credits include Murdoch Mysteries, Covert Affairs, Reign and Rookie Blue.
Daniel’s writing credits include writing for Warner Brothers, Canon Pictures, Crystal Sky Productions, director Tobe Hooper, producer Tarquin Gotch (Home Alone, Trains Planes and Automobiles) and producer John Dailey (Platoon, Terminator).
Daniel also deals in tribal and fine art. His main focus for the last few years has been teaching art, drama and creative writing.
MICHAEL PHILLIPS · Founder & Executive Director
Michael Phillips was born and raised in London England, where he attended Mountview Theatre School, one of the most prestigious and famous acting schools in Britain. He came to the United States to tour and direct Shakespeare throughout the Southern States. He fell in love with America and decided to stay. He founded The Hampstead Players, and started working first as an Actor/Director with the company. Later, he served as the company’s Artistic Director for over 10 years. In 2015, Michael took over the role of Executive Director for HSC. Michael grew Hampstead Stage Company into a nationally known company, renown for the quality of their work, the excellence of their actors and directors, and their commitment to educate as well as entertain through theatre. HSC performs over 2000 shows a year to audiences of all ages.
In addition to his work at HSC, he has also worked as a guest director and playwright with companies throughout the United States from Off-Broadway to Los Angeles, including the Boston Actor’s Theatre, the Manhattan Repertory Theatre, and many others. In 2015 his play, Lives of Quiet Desperation, was considered for the Yale New Works award. In early 2016 his full-length screenplay Slammed was purchased by Red Pictures and is currently in post-production.
JAY PASTUCHA · Artistic Director
Jay Pastucha earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from the University of Central Florida. During his college career, Jay founded a non-profit theatrical production company, Second Glance Theatre, whose mission was to create new plays and help new artists find their voices. Second Glance worked with Apopka Family Learning Center, a non-profit for low-income children in Central Florida, and through this association, Jay created programing for children who had limited access to arts education. Additionally, Jay and Second Glance produced the Orlando Fringe 2014 smash hit, Sharknami: The Musical?, a concert version of Brooklyn, and several successful stage readings of new plays.
During the summer of 2013, Jay joined the Hampstead Stage Company (HSC) as an actor, where he performed in over 140 shows all over the northeast. He returned briefly to Florida to produce his original play Hey, Hi, Hello at the Tampa Bay Theatre Festival. Jay has worked as an actor in regional theatres across the country, including the Seacoast Rep, Heartwood Regional Theater and Orlando Shakespeare Theatre (Playfest).
In the spring of 2015, Jay was invited back to Hampstead to serve in multiple roles as an HSC company member. Since Jay started directing at HSC he has had the please of working on several shows such as: Robin Hood; The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and The Prince and the Pauper. He also served as production manager, and was appointed Artistic Director of The Hampstead Stage Company in June of 2016. As part of this new role, Jay created a new branch of HSC: Signature Series. This cutting edge series launched in October 2016 with a New England tour of an original adaptation of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. It received fantastic responses from the various high schools and theatres it toured to. Jay’s focus is to continue doing what HSC does best, “Bring Classic Literature to Life!”, while expanding on the way it is done. With the success of the Signature Series, Jay’s expecting a colorful and exciting future here at HSC.
ANNA ROBBINS · Company Manager
Anna Lynn Robbins hails from Bonita Springs, FL where she first discovered her love for the arts. Anna began dancing at the age of three and continued to perform throughout childhood. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre and a Minor in Dance from University of Central Florida. After graduation, Anna toured twice with Hampstead Stage (Alice in Wonderland, The Legend of King Arthur, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and A Christmas Carol). Anna has continued to work with HSC administratively and currently serves as the Company Manager. She loves being a liaison between performance venues and touring actors. In her spare time, Anna loves baking, being outdoors, playing with puppies, tap dancing, and exploring new cities.
AMANDA PAWLIK · Education Director
Amanda currently serves as Hampstead Stage Company’s Education Director. She began her journey with the company as an intern, where she was standby for the fall 2007 and spring 2008 tours. After completing her internship, Amanda toured with the company for four tours, traveling coast to coast twice! Upon her return from touring, Amanda assistant directed the company’s spring 2010 tour and from there went on to direct several shows for the company, including Alice in Wonderland (summer 2010), A Christmas Carol (fall 2010 and 2015), Aladdin (spring and summer 2011), The Ancient Gods (spring 2016), and The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (summer 2016). This summer, she will direct the world premiere tour of Beauty and the Beast.
As Education Director, Amanda shares more than ten years’ experience as a teaching artist, in which she has worked in classrooms, summer camps, after school programs, and beyond to bring theatre to all ages. Ever the passionate educator, she was an invited presenter at the Long Wharf Theatre’s Educators’ Laboratory and The Arts are Essential NH Arts in Education Conference. She has recently taught with Hartford Performs Arts Literacy Project and was a guest artist at the University of Hartford for three years. In addition to directing with Hampstead, Amanda has collaborated with numerous theatres in New England. She is the founder and director of The Mythology Project, a collaboration with actors and writers to create and perform original plays inspired by mythology, and co-artistic director of Working Title Productions, a theatre company dedicated to supporting new plays in all stages of production. Amanda is a proud member of DirectorsLabChicago and an alum of the O’Neill National Theater Institute.
DEIRDRE MANNING · Grant Writer
Deirdre Manning began writing grants for Hampstead Stage in 2016. She is strategic thinking professional who is passionate about performing arts, quality education, and activism. She’s worked on development and grant writing for Quest, Inc. and Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati. Deirdre graduated from the University of Central Florida with a BFA in Musical Theatre, and minors in Dance and Environmental Science.