Nicola Emerich – Founder/Artistic Producer
Caribbean roots began for Nicola – known to most as ‘Nikki,’ in 1988, when she and her young family left New York and moved to St. Thomas, intending to stay just two years. While in New York, Nikki was the Assistant Producer for Sardi’s Restaurant “Murder on Broadway” dinner-theater. At the same time, she also joined New York’s Ensemble Studio Theater as a freelance producer. Prior to New York, Nikki founded Perseverance Theater in Juneau, Alaska, establishing it as a leading regional theater. While there, she produced the show ‘YUPIK ANTIGINE,’ which traveled to La Mama, E.T.C. in New York, and the Theater of Nations in Nancy, France. An accomplished actor, Nikki’s credits include: Off Broadway in THE RIVER, performed extensively in TOTAL ECLIPSE; Arena Stage, New Playwright’s Theater; Studio Theater; Alaska Rep.’ the Kennedy Center Theater Lab. In addition, she performed across several other platforms, including radio (reader’s theater) film, and video. In 1980, Nikki co-produced the original play, PRACTICE, moving it from Washington, D.C.’s New Playwright’s Theater to Off Broadway, Perry Street Theater. In 1991, Nikki was one of four founders of Pistarckle Theater. Today, 28 years and 153 productions later, Nikki remains very proud of the Pistarckle Theater staff, Resident Director, the Youth Education Program, and the body of work continuously produced and presented.
Frank Bartolucci – Resident Director
Mr. Bartolucci has directed over 50 plays for Pistarckle Theater since 2003 as a freelance and Resident Director. A few of the musicals include A Little Shop of Horrors; The All-Night Strut; Rent; The Rocky Horror Show; Hair; Cabaret; Chicago; Rock Of Ages; and Sister Act and a few of the plays were: American Buffalo; Red; Proof; Venus in Fur; A Steady Rain; Love Letters; and Play It Again Sam He received his Theater training at SUNY Geneseo. Upon Graduation, he co-founded The Portable Players, a professional touring company producing Jacque Brel…Feiffer’s People and created an original musical revue of composer Stephen Schwartz work: Magic To Do (renamed Day by Day). He has worked on several major motion pictures, most notably Home For The Holidays, directed by Jodi Foster and Boys starring Winona Ryder. Mr. Bartolucci was Executive Director of the St. John based Epiphany Theater Company. In 2003, he created A State of Grace Productions, Inc., producing and directing Ain’t Misbehavin at the Old Mill Playhouse.
Priscilla Lynn – Marketing/Development Director
Priscilla was a VI resident for 11 years prior, took a 14 year hiatus to live in Connecticut, and returned a year ago to St. Thomas. She has been a consultant for nearly 30 years, providing public relations, marketing, special events, and business development services to clients from start-up to mega-corporations. She is an avid volunteer, lover of the arts, mother, grandmom, and a big fan of the anything that involves the sun, surf, sand, the azure Caribbean seas and scenic vistas.
Julie Baber, Project Manager
Julie is the newest member of 'Team Pistarckle,' and her experience is vast. She's been an actor on New York stage, regional theatre, film, and television. She is also trained as a Shakespearean actor and stage and film combatant. Julie has studied and been directed by Austin Pendleton, Tina Packer, and Paul Zimet. She also founded the 20% Theatre Company in New York, dedicated to reversing the minority percentages of working women, people of color, and LGBTQ in the theatre. 20% Theatre Company continues on, with charters in Chicago and the Twin Cities. Having graduated from Smith College, she embarked upon a 15 year career in serving non-profits as an Administrator, Director of Development, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, and Bookkeeper.
Matthew Hamilton-Kraft, Grant Writer
Matthew Hamilton-Kraft joined Pistarckle's team in January, 2017. Matt has a long history in theater as a writer, actor, director, teacher and administrator. He also has over 15 years of Non-Profit management, program and grant development.
Matt is a seven-time produced playwright and Kennedy Center/ACTF New Playwright Award Winner. He appeared on stage in over 35 professional roles from 1998 to 2006 before retiring from the theater to raise a family and pursue a career in teaching, coaching and anti-poverty work.
As a administrator, Matt has been successful in winning several million dollars in federal, state and corporate grants and was highlighted on the federal level for a number of innovative program designs including integration of Art's education to improve outcomes in anti poverty programs such as Head Start and Runaway Homeless Youth Programs.
Matt returned to the stage for the first time in 2017 at Pistarckle, appearing in "Play It Again Sam." He also completed his first new original play in over 10 years, 'Alternative Facts,' which was presented - and well-received by audiences - as the 2017-18 Season Premiere in November 2017.
Matt is thrilled to be combining all of his prior experiences to help Pistarckle Theater as a grant writer and artist. In addition to Pistarckle, Matt teaches Social Studies at BCB Middle School, coaches soccer on St. Thomas and is loving the exploration of the Caribbean with his wife Katrina and two boys, Nolan and Lliam.
Pamela New, Summer Theater Musical Camp Director & Shakespeare Festival Scholar
Pamela has served as a Artist/Educator in residence at Pistarckle Theater for many years. She is a passionate educator focusing on student-centered teaching with expertise in communications, theatre, drama therapy, performance and visual art. She was also an Adjunct Professor for several years at the University of the Virgin Islands. She is a creative curriculum designer who places emphasis on rigorous workshop style pedagogy to enhance personalized learning. Inquiry based and experiential learning objectives create the foundation of the supportive environment where students become technically proficient and highly engaged with their studies. Pamela is a role-model of professionalism, inclusion, empathy, acceptance, tolerance, creativity, personal growth, and integrity.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Bonnie Erb – President
Julie Najawicz – Vice President
Rob Kunkel – Secretary
B. Greg Miller – Treasurer
Mary Gleason – At Large
Karen Guariloff – Student Representative