About Us

Group Leaders

We’re very proud of the excellent team of dedicated professionals who work for Faust. They bring a wealth of experience to each workshop, benefiting all involved.

Matthew Gregory - Director of Faust and Group Leader

Matthew founded Faust in 1999 and since then has brought many works to the stage, either as director or producer. His directing credits include Peter Pan which played in Hong Kong in 2005 and went on to tour Asia, the sell-out hit Oliver!, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Marvin the Monkey Drummer and the Pot of Truth, Imperfect Speakers, The Sword in the Stone, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Der Struwwelpeter, The Royal Hunt of the Sun, Tall Iced Low Fat Mocha Frappuccino, No Whip!, Doctor Faustus, Saturday Night Live!, Lord of the Flies and The Crucible - all for Faust International Youth Theatre. Matthew is executive producer of ABA Productions, an international theatrical production company dedicated to creating and promoting a wide variety of performance styles from around the world. Matthew has a PGCE in Drama from Cambridge University, UK.

Keon Lee – General Manager and Group Leader

Keon attended Beacon Hill School and Shatin College right here in Hong Kong and studied Drama and English Literature at Royal Holloway in the UK as well as at The University of Hong Kong. During the past decade he has written, directed and performed in a variety of plays and short films. His playwriting and directing credits include theatrical versions of Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, Journey to the West, Anansi the Storyteller, original stories such as Rosaline, Beautiful and Beastly, the Kip Marlowe Detective Series, Modern Teenage Fables and many more for Faust. Other theatre and drama highlights include performing the lead role of David Henry Hwang in the Asian Premiere of Yellow Face, directing the opening event for the Hong Kong Literary Festival 2009 and leading workshops on creative writing and directing for The University of Hong Kong. Keon has a BA in English Literature & Comparative Literature, an MPhil in English Literature and a PGDE in English from The University of Hong Kong.

Neo Msimka – Drama Leader & Programme Coordinator

Neo attended the National School of the Arts where he majored in Drama. He graduated from Oakfields College in South Africa with a Diploma in Musical Theatre and Dance. He has performed in numerous international productions such as the Spartacus Ballet and Naledi, an African Journey tour to France. He taught Drama at an underprivileged school for one year and he then became an English language teacher for two years in China. His passion and love for the arts has inspired him to teach drama and musical theatre in Hong Kong and he is proud to be part of the Faust team.

Jaime Tiamson-Cura – Group Leader and Props and Costume Manager

Jam is an enthusiastic English and Drama teacher who has led workshops for children of all ages. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English & Music Education from the Philippine Normal University and worked as an English and Literature teacher, Drama and Public Speaking instructor and performance script writer in different schools and colleges in the Philippines and in Hong Kong. Jam began leading Faust workshops in 2011 and later took on the role of props & costume manager for Faust Festivals and for productions such as The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Hamlet, Cyrano de Bergerac, Pride and Prejudice, The Nutcracker, Peter Pan and Wendy, James and the Giant Peach, and more. Projects outside of Faust include; Chicago, The Blue Bird of Happiness, Ugoy, The Odd at Sea, Perseus, 4.48 Psychosis, and more. She has worked with many different theatre groups helping the young people of Hong Kong prepare for the stage.

Dezlenne Ulster-Weale – Drama Leader & Programme Coordinator

Dez has been training in Dance (Tap and Modern) and Musical Theatre from the age of 4. She graduated at the top of her class at Oakfields College in Johannesburg, South Africa where she furthered her studies. In the past five years, she has performed in multiple professional Musical Theatre and Children’s Theatre productions directed and choreographed by some of South Africa’s biggest names. Her performing credits include, Jack and the Beanstalk-Pantomime, Cinderella-Pantomime, Aesop’s Fables and Peter & the Wolf to name a few. Dez has been teaching performing arts for many years and began teaching in Hong Kong in 2022. She loves sharing her love for theatre with young people and being a part of their journey in the arts. Other qualifications include Dance Teacher’s Qualifications in Tap, Modern and Musical Theatre from DanceCor.

Samuel Speed – Group Leader

Samuel is a British trained actor, director and drama facilitator. He studied at East 15 Acting School, London, before going onto receive a First-Class Honours bachelor’s degree in Applied Theatre at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire. Over the past 7 years, Samuel has specialised as a theatre director and acting coach for both early years and older years children. From managing a youth theatre for ages 4 to 18, producing and directing stage productions such as the Last Christmas Tree and Shrek the Musical, to managing and drama leading at a musical theatre school called the Star Project in the UK. Samuel also delivers LAMDA drama and singing tuition to ages 7 to 18. His experience in storytelling, movement and drama, led him take part in an Internship with Faust back in 2018. Samuel rejoined Faust in 2019 and is thrilled to be developing the confidence and abilities of young performers who join our workshops and programmes.

Clara Vermooten – Group Leader

Clara has been obsessed with the arts from a young age. A self-professed ‘Jill of all trades’ of the theatre world, Clara has been involved in many productions either onstage or backstage across Tokyo and Hong Kong for both adult and children’s productions. Since returning to Hong Kong for university, Clara has been working in the early childhood educational industry teaching children 6 months upwards. Clara has been a part of the Faust family since 2011 and has directed shows for The Faust Festival and has facilitated makeup and wardrobe for many of the larger Faust productions. Clara hopes to encourage the children at Faust to express their creativity and develop their passion for theatre and performance!

Esme Anderson – Group Leader

Esme is a passionate teacher with experience teaching younger aged students in Hong Kong for several years, including at Woodlands Montessori Academy as a playgroup teacher. She grew up in Hong Kong and graduated from South Island School. She is also a former Faust member and has performed, directed, taught and assisted in Faust programmes over the years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from HKU in Education and English teaching, with a minor in Social Work. Theatre highlights include being Assistant Stage Manager for The Wind in the Willows, performing the role of Mary in The Crucible, Bob Cratchit in A Christmas Carol and numerous Faust Festival shows. She looks forward to leading more workshops at Faust.

John Maguigad – Group Leader

John has been entranced by the world of theatre and performance ever since he can remember. He grew up in Hong Kong and graduated from YMCA Hong Kong Christian College where he developed his background in physical theatre, contemporary performance, and dance improvisation. John’s passion for teaching theatre comes from his time at Faust, where he was first involved in workshops, holiday programmes and Faust Festival shows as an Assistant Leader and now as a Group Leader. In his spare time, he enjoys performing onstage. John firmly believes in the power of theatre to help guide people in their personal growth, and is looking forward to sharing that with the young performers at Faust in the coming season!

Rebecca J. Merritt - Group Leader

Rebecca was raised in the US and has been in Hong Kong for several years. She received a BFA from The Professional Theatre Training Program (PTTP) at UW-Milwaukee. After completing her degree, she worked professionally in TV, film, print and stage (doing mainly Shakespeare or Classical theatre). She also earned a Montessori teaching & Yoga certificate and taught at Montessori schools in the US and Hong Kong. Rebecca works as a voice over talent, actress, and co-runs Hong Kong Live Play Readings. She is very excited to work with the children at Faust!

Arlin Rai – Group Leader
Arlin graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a Bachelor’s Degree in Linguistics and English Education. She has been with Faust for over 6 years, during which she has assisted, directed and led several Faust shows and holiday programmes for children of different ages. She has a particular interest in puppetry which she enjoys sharing with students. She is an enthusiastic and passionate individual who looks forward to sharing her knowledge to help build each child’s confidence, helping them grow as individuals while nurturing their passion for theatre.

Yu Kitamura – Group Leader
Yuyu is a Hong Kong native and has been a long-time Faust member herself as a student then as an Assistant Leader. She went on to study in the United States at New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, and graduated with a BFA in Acting. She has trained at the Atlantic Theatre Company and Stonestreet Studios. Her theatre training centered on the Practical Aesthetics Technique that focuses on script analysis. Yuyu was awarded the Outstanding Achievement in Studio Award for her work in screen acting. After graduation, she has worked professionally in commercials, voice-over work, and independent films. With over 10 years of experience in acting, she is back in Hong Kong and is excited to educate and foster a fun learning environment with the next young generation of performers.

Anna Rai – Group Leader
Anna is a drama aficionado and has participated and performed in many productions over the years. Some of her performing credits include Aladdin, Arabian Nights, The Wizard of Oz and Chicken Little. Anna also has a lot of experience working with young children. She loves incorporating drama games into her teaching, using drama techniques to help children be more confident young performers. Anna is excited to be part of the Faust team and looks forward to empowering the students in her groups.

Laura Johnson – Group Leader
Laura is a Hong Kong native and theatre student at Hong Kong Baptist University. She has been a drama enthusiast ever since she can remember. Laura joined the Faust family several years ago, has acted in two Faust Festivals as well as the production of The Servant of Two Masters and even worked as a Floor Manager for the Faust Festival 2018. Laura has acted in musicals and other large-scale productions. Laura is an experienced Group Leader at Faust and is very excited to share her passion for drama with the students she works with.

Lauren Nellas – Group Leader
Born and raised in Hong Kong, Lauren is currently studying Psychology at Hong Kong Metropolitan University. She is very passionate about Theatre and the Arts. She has taught Drama, Arts and Crafts and Piano; and she has worked with educational institutions that focus on helping young children learn art in their living estates. She joined Faust in 2019 and has been working with younger years in Term Time Programmes and Holiday Theatre workshops in various locations. She also helps with Faust Touring Theatre as a stage manager. Lauren enjoys the company of children and can easily collaborate well with them while creating a fun and energetic environment. She is enthusiastic about her work and is excited to share the joy and love of theatre with the children.

Vyapti Wadhwaney – Group Leader
Vyapti discovered her passion for the performing arts when she was first introduced to the world of Bollywood at a very young age. Since then, she has been acting on and off stage in a variety of roles and productions and considers theatre her safe space. She directed a Renaissance College production of The Servant to Two Masters and was involved in a wide variety of productions from the musical Footloose to Shakespeare’s Macbeth. One particular highlight was a performance of Aladdin with the Down Syndrome Association of Hong Kong. She looks forward to working with young students in the performing arts because she believes it is very rewarding to see what young minds can come up with in the creative atmosphere.

Soni Tolani – Group Leader
Soni was born and raised in Hong Kong and has always been passionate about the arts. She is a very fun-loving, sincere, and honest person who loves working with children and young talented performers. She has worked as a dance teacher, teaching young talents a variety of western and Bollywood styles of dance and producing several stage and school performances. She joined Faust in 2021 and has been motivating our young actors to experience the wonderful world of theatre.

Gladys Lee – Group Leader
Gladys graduated from HKAPA EXCEL and achieved the BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre). She has been a performer since she was young. She started with classical ballet training when she was 4 years old then dove into other dance styles such as Contemporary, Jazz, Funk, Tap Dance, Hip Hop and merged them with theatre acting. Since then, she has joined numerous showcases and performances involving Theatre and Dance. Gladys is delighted to be working at Faust. She enjoys leading drama workshops with the children and loves having a great time with them.

Jasmine Peralta – Group Leader
Jasmine studied English Language Teaching at Hong Kong Metropolitan University. She has been a drama enthusiast for almost all her whole life. Her interest in performing is derived from her love for musicals which brought out her outgoing and expressive side that she never knew existed until she came out of her shell through singing and acting. She has participated in various productions with her school’s English Drama Club and in various musical performances throughout her primary and secondary school life. She enjoys serving the community by doing community-based theatre shows and joining independent acapella groups. She hopes to inspire young minds at Faust - having fun while acting, and finding one’s voice through the arts.

Agnese Perri – Group Leader
Agnese Perri, a Victorian College of the Arts graduate with a BFA in Theatre, is an emerging multidisciplinary artist, theatre maker, and producer. From Italy, Australia, and Hong Kong, their interest lies in experimental theatre and performance art. With a reflective and play-based practice, Agnese is deeply inspired by children and their creative languages. They are looking forward to supporting children’s creative explorations and theatre journeys at Faust! Recent projects include Tarot (Motley Bauhaus, 2023), Trash Pop Butterflies Dance Dance Paradise (Theatre Works, 2023), My Shell (Testing Grounds, 2022), and Always a Stranger in a Foreign Place (2021) [Recipient of Mudfest Best Moving Image Award and Digital Dawdle Audience Favourite in Film].