Lisa Matsko Hamilton
LISA MATSKO HAMILTON is the founder and director of the Professional School for the Arts in Torrance, where hundreds of children, teens and adults have been trained in singing, dancing and acting since its opening in 1991. She has assembled a world-class faculty of professionals that are excellent teachers as well as performers. Ms. Hamilton herself, who received her MFA in music theatre at the University of California, Irvine, focuses primarily on the areas of voice and music theatre training and college preparation.
Her students have gone on to perform in numerous Broadway productions such as Carousel, Wicked, Godspell, The Book of Mormon, Chaplin, Violet, Mary Poppins, Grease and Rent as well as in national tours and regional productions of Dogfight, The Lion King, Hairspray, In the Heights, Big River, Legally Blonde, Little Women, Ragtime, 42nd Street and The King and I. Others have attended prestigious performing arts programs at schools such as the University of Michigan, UCLA, Yale, Harvard, University of Miami, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, University of Miami, University of Arizona, NYU, Juilliard, Pace, AMDA, USC, Point Park College, Emerson College, Muhlenberg College, Rider, UCI, Montclair State University, Ball State University, Syracuse University and Northwestern.
Ms. Hamilton is a recipient of the Fine Arts Award from the City of Torrance. She is also a board member of the Professional Arts Education Center, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to raising scholarship funds for deserving performing arts students. Ms. Hamilton believes that “as a PSA student, whatever your particular aspiration, we care about you specifically. Our focus is to tailor your training and education to meet your unique performing arts goals.”
Broadway: The Book of Mormon (Original Broadway Cast) and the Deaf West revival of Big River (2004 Tony Honor) at Roundabout Theater Company Other NYC: Yank! (The Old Globe Workshop), Bye Bye Birdie (City Center Encores!) and Behind the Limelight/Chaplin (NYMF). National tours: The Boy Friend directed by Julie Andrews, Big River, the Detroit company of White Christmas and the Japanese tour of Disney on Classic with the Tokyo Philharmonic. Regional credits: Cosmo Brown in Singin' in the Rain, Wendell in Emmet Otter (both at Goodspeed), Jinx in Forever Plaid (Cape Playhouse), Happy Days the musical (Papermill Playhouse, cast album), Carmen Ghia in The Producers and Andy Lee in 42nd Street (Pioneer Playhouse). Film/TV: Frozen (Troll), South Park, The 2012 Tony Awards and commercials for Truth Campaign, Nike and Ocean Spray. He is a proud member of Actors' Equity Association and SAG/AFTRA.
Scott is currently the director of the Musical Theatre Conservatory at the Orange County School of the Arts, and is a graduate of Wagner College (BA Theatre/Speech) and UCLA (MFA Playwriting). His play Gamers, was a semi-finalist for the Eugene O'Neill National Playwrights Festival and presented in the Hollywood Fringe Festival.
Lindsay was most recently seen on Broadway playing Carrie Pipperidge in the revival of CAROUSEL for which she received a 2018 Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Musical. Ms. Mendez has also appeared on Broadway as Elphaba in the smash hit, WICKED, during the celebration of the 10th Anniversary of the production. She has also starred in Joshua Harmon’s highly-acclaimed new play, SIGNIFICANT OTHER. She received a Drama Desk Nomination, Outer Critics Circle Nomination, and a Drama League nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Musical for her performance as Rose Fenny in the Off-Broadway musical DOGFIGHT.
Other Broadway credits include: GODSPELL (2011 Revival), EVERYDAY RAPTURE (Roundabout) and GREASE (2007 Revival). Ms. Mendez is an accomplished jazz and blues singer. Her album entitled This Time is available on iTunes.
Lindsay is a renowned voice and acting coach for artists around the country. With composer Ryan Scott Oliver, she co-owns and runs Actor Therapy, a NYC based musical theatre master class series that mentors artists navigating the performing arts industry.
Hank Stratton starred in the Broadway revival and television film adaptation of The Man Who Came to Dinner, opposite Nathan Lane. He appeared in the CBS drama The Unit, in addition to recurring roles on Heroes and American Dreams. His television work includes films for NBC, CBS, Hallmark and HBO, along with numerous guest appearances including The Closer, Desperate Housewives, Hawaii Five-O, ER and Frasier. He had the privilege of playing Berowne in Love’s Labour’s Lost for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival. Additionally, he starred in the national tours of the Tony Award-winning production of Copenhagen, the Sam Mendes/Rob Marshall collaboration of Cabaret, the off-Broadway hit Jeffrey, and played the role of Henry Higgins in My Fair Ladyfor Moonlight Stage Productions. As a director, his work for the Arizona Repertory Theatre includes Doubt, A Streetcar Named Desire, Born Yesterday, Reckless, This, The Man Who Came To Dinner, and co-directing The Full Monty. He directed The Laramie Project for the University of Michigan, and produced a concert benefit the Matthew Shepard “Erase Hate” foundation. He has served as a guest artist for educational institutions around the country, including master classes at UCLA, AMDA and the Professional School of the Arts. Hank is a co-founding instructor of Six Days of Broadway, a musical theatre performing arts camp at the prestigious Segerstrom Center in Southern California. Hank is a founding board member of The Foundation For a National AIDS Monument, where he also serves as programming chairperson. He is also a board member of The Professional Arts Education Center, a non-profit dedicated to providing scholarships in the performing arts. Hank is a graduate of the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
MIKE MOSALLAM is a producer, director, writer for the theatre, film and television. Through his production company, Mike Mosallam Productions (www.watchmmp.com), he and his team produced short films: "Breaking Fast" (Cannes Film Festival), "Brothers" (Leeds Film Festival), and the upcoming "Ubuntu." He is currently in post-production on his feature film, "Breaking Fast" (based on the short), which is set for completion in late 2019. He is the creator and Co-Executive-Producer of the critically-acclaimed TLC series, "All-American Muslim." With a slate of projects in active development, the MMP team are excited to develop and produce works that tell the stories of marginalized groups. On the theatre side, Mike has produced and directed more than 100 theatrical productions from large-scale musicals, intimate cabaret settings, plays, concerts, and multi-media theatrical events. After eight years in New York / Los Angeles, Mike returned to Michigan in 2009 to head a new initiative, the Wayne County Film Office, and helped attract more than 70 titles to the metro Detroit area. Since moving to LA in January 2012, he has worked in business development for Sunset Studios, production planning for Netflix, and currently is a partner in a new firm specializing in studio development and management. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan's Musical Theatre Department and holds a master’s degree from The Boston Conservatory.
Jessica Lea Patty
Jessica is a seven time Broadway veteran, director, choreographer & teaching artist currently living & working in Los Angeles. She was last seen on Broadway in the Tony Award winning musical BANDSTAND directed & choreographed by Tony Award winner Andy Blankenbuehler. She was also in the Broadway Revival of EVITA starring Ricky Martin where she understudied & performed the title role of Eva Peron & starred as the Cassie Alternate every Sunday in the Broadway Revival of A Chorus Line. Her other Broadway credits include the original companies of The Addams Family, The People In The Picture, & 9 to 5 the Musical. She made her Broadway debut in the The Boy From Oz starring Hugh Jackman. Jessica also toured North America with hit shows Cats & Fosse. Her television appearances include The Kennedy Center Honors, PBS’s Live at Lincoln Center, 5 Tony Awards telecasts, Dancing w/ the Stars, The Late Show with David Letterman, the CBS Morning Show, The View & Good Morning America. She has also appeared in numerous regional theaters across the country & can be heard on 5 original Broadway cast recordings. Jessica has appeared as a principle singer with the Pittsburgh Symphony & in the 92Y Lyrics & Lyricists concert series in NYC. Most recently Jessica directed & choreographed The Addams Family at Florida State University & choreographed OCSA’s production of Jasper in Deadland. She currently teaches an acting & mindfulness based musical theatre class at OSCA. Jessica has taught dance & musical theatre audition & vocal performance masterclasses for many organizations, universities & studios in NYC & across the country.
Brent Wagner was chair of the Department of Musical Theatre for 32 years and is credited with building the department into one of the top musical theatre programs in the world. Before joining the Michigan faculty in 1984 he taught at Syracuse University. He has directed musicals and revues throughout North America, from off-Broadway in New York to the Banff Center in Alberta, Canada. He has collaborated with Sheldon Harnick on numerous projects, including a new opera at the O’Neill Theater Center, as well as the world premiere of A Wonderful Life (music by Joe Raposo), and his recent musical Dragons, both of which were staged at the University of Michigan. Wagner continues teaching the first-year Introduction to Musical Theatre and the upper-level History of Musical Theatre courses. He holds an Arthur Thurnau Professorship, an award for outstanding instruction at the undergraduate level.
BARRETT FOA is best known as tech geek Eric Beale on all 10 seasons (and counting) of the hit CBS crime drama/comedy “NCIS: Los Angeles”. He has guest starred on “Will & Grace” (’19), “Entourage”, “NCIS”, “The Closer”, “Numb3rs”, and "Six Degrees”. During his hiatuses from "NCIS: LA," Barrett starred in the New York one-man multi-character hit off-Broadway comedy Buyer & Cellar, was nominated for an LA Ovation Award for his portrayal of Oscar in Sweet Charity at Reprise 2.0, conceived his own solo show Grin and Barrett at NYC’s Feinstein’s/54 Below and LA’s Rockwell, starred as Harold Hill in The Music Man at CT Rep, and starred, co-wrote, and produced the sold out hit For The Record: John Hughes in LA and NYC. Prior to moving to LA, Foa starred on Broadway in the Tony-winning musicals Avenue Q (Princeton/Rod), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Leaf Coneybear), Mamma Mia! (original cast). He played Jesus in the off- Broadway revival of Godspell (cast recording), originated the role of Eddie in Adam Bock’s The Drunken City at Playwrights Horizons, Jamie in Matthew Lopez’s Tio Pepe (aka Somewhere) at The Public, and has developed new work at New York Theatre Workshop, Roundabout, and Ars Nova. Regional Theatre credits include Paper Mill Playhouse, Bay Street, Hartford Stage, Shakespeare Theatre Company, The Muny, and Pittsburgh CLO. Born and raised in New York City, Foa graduated from The Dalton School in Manhattan, attended Interlochen Arts Camp, studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, and received his BFA in Musical Theatre Performance from The University of Michigan. Foa was the on-air backstage host and social media correspondent for the 2013 and 2014 Tony Awards on CBS.
Cynthia Kortman Westphal
Cynthia Kortman Westphal is currently music director for the first North American Tour of Come From Away. She was an original company member of The Lion King on Broadway where she was associate music director, conductor, and keyboard player for seven years. In 2013-2014, she was associate music director for the Broadway production of the Tony-nominated A Christmas Story—the Musical. In addition, she music directed the first national tour of A Christmas Story, and played keyboards for the shows' run at Madison Square Garden. Other Broadway credits include: The Gershwins Fascinating Rhythm (music supervisor, music director, conductor) and Miss Saigon (keyboards). Regionally, in 2017, she music directed Man of La Mancha at The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, where she was part of the first ever all-female creative team in the history of that historic theatre. Additional regional credits include: Hartford Stage Company and Arizona Theatre Company (The Gershwins' Fascinating Rhythm), The Goodman Theatre in Chicago (Randy Newman's Faust), and North Shore Music Theatre (Shrek). Ms. Westphal toured as a pianist with opera singer Andrea Bocelli on two U.S. tours and has also worked as an orchestral pianist with Eos Orchestra, American Symphony Orchestra, New Jersey Symphony, Ann Arbor Symphony, and Flint Symphony. As a keyboard player for Broadway National Tours in Detroit, she has played for such shows as Wicked, In The Heights, Les Miserables, Legally Blonde, Sister Act, Spamalot, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Peter Pan with Cathy Rigby, The King and I, and Annie. Of the over 50 musicals she has music directed, additional favorites include: She Loves Me, 1776, Carousel, Company, Caroline, or Change, Ragtime, and The Who’s Tommy. Television appearances include Good Morning America, The Rosie O'Donnell Show, The Rosie Show on OWN, and Great Performances: Copland's America on PBS. She can be heard on the Grammy Award-winning cast album of The Lion King and the Grammy nominated album Celluloid Copland with Eos Orchestra. Ms. Kortman Westphal is on faculty at the University of Michigan in the Musical Theatre Department. At U-M she has developed new musicals with the band Air Supply, and with Glenn Frey of the Eagles. She is also a Certified Master Teacher in Estill Voice Training.
Gerard Babb, music theatre and acting, is proud to be a founding faculty member at the Professional School for the Arts. While Gerard enjoys working with all his students from ages 8 to 80, his specialty is helping high school seniors hone their monologues and songs for college performing arts auditions. Former students have gone on to attend programs such as those at the University of Michigan, Boston Conservatory, UCLA, NYU and University of Arizona, and others have seen such success as Tony and Emmy awards. Gerard is a long-time member of the Screen Actors Guild and earned an MFA in acting with an emphasis in music theatre from the University of California, Irvine.