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Shakesperience is a nonprofit professional theater company located in Connecticut that reaches a Northeast audience of adults and students alike with outdoor and in-studio performances, Saturday and private acting classes, school & camp tours, and residency programs.
Shakesperience was founded in 1996 by Emily Mattina and Jeffrey Lapham, with a mission to educate and inspire students, families, and theater professionals through the arts.
No matter the project, Shakesperience generates evocative productions that both create and benefit from a positive ensemble. Individual performers develop a defined sense of self through the creation of and interaction with all other company members. Shakesperience creates programming to celebrate and explore what it means to be human. From student to professional, we find and raise our collective and individual voices.
Shakesperience can mean something different to everyone. Attend a performance, schedule a program for your school or event, enroll in our Acting Intensives, audition, volunteer, donate, or contact us. Sign up for our mailing list to keep yourself up-to-date with our latest programs. And please invest in our impact or engage with our investors. There are many ways to keep Shakesperience a voice of leadership, thought & action, onstage & off.
Shakespeare is a big part of what we do. His plays include complicated and complex characters with deep and honest emotions that resonate with audiences throughout time. His texts also come with challenges. Some of his characters make choices based on ideas we reject. Some of his characters are treated poorly, marginalized and excluded. We use these ideas as the spark for conversation which can lead us to be better humans and to create a better society and for a continual examination of the human condition. From our very first Shakespeare workshop in 1996, we have encouraged students to respond authentically with their feelings and ideas about Shakespeare in general and about each scene we perform with them. As societies grow and change, new perspectives form, which creates new dialogue and adds to the existing ones. All storytelling is an art of sharing laughter, tears, and different perspectives. Shakespeare is one of several paths we have chosen to do that. In all things, we look to include balance, empathy, and connection.