The Hampstead family began its mission back in 1983. Hampstead Stage Company got its name from our founders: Daniel Matmor, Michael Phillips, and Katherine and Gordon Preston, who came to America from Hampstead, England to pursue their dreams. Without these four incredible individuals, we would not be one of the company we are today!
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. Visit: www.katipreston.com for more information.
Gordon Preston moved from Hampstead, England to start The Hampstead Stage Company. He currently serves as a selectman for the town of Barnstead, NH.
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.
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.