Shakesperience Productions, Inc. is both proud and protective of its educational feats, artistic achievements, intellectual property, concepts and approaches. Here are some of the signature works Shakesperience has presented since its inception:
Directed by Emily Mattina, Hamlet is presented as a 1920s black and white movie written and directed by the title character and happening in his mind, complete with flashbacks, flash-forwards, and a sense of drama heightened by music. Like the mind that created him, Hamlet has an uncanny ability to manipulate and entice an audience, incite an actor, and motivate a director through language. As the tragic hero of our play and the director and author of the movie, Hamlet exhibits an unearthly sense of poetry, an imagination past compare, a delicious yet acerbic sense of wit and word play, and a deep melancholy coupled with an intrinsic knowledge and delight in the existence of the universe. Who better to represent the author than his own hero?
A chorus of angels and demons will guide you through this imaginative comedy filled with love and joy. Emily Mattina sets this production in the Garden of Eden, with original music to which the cast sings the text.
Witness Henry's epic journey as he and his army bring neighboring France to its knees. Emily Mattina directs this production set amidst the complexity of a larger-than-life chess set, complete with pieces in a variety of scales.
The cast of this comedy-favorite materializes to portray Shakespeare’s tale of mistaken identity, of good intentions gone awry, of mystical forces and their effects on mortal life, of love won and lost and won again. Emily Mattina balances this production in the mysterious territory between dreams and reality, with telescoping concepts aligning meta-theatrical levels: Arabian Nights, stage crew, and time travel. The production cross-fades through the confining order and structure of the Athenian court, the lawlessness of the forest, and the disconcerting randomness of the dream state. In true Shakesperience fashion, the audience for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is included in the magic as an essential player in our scenes.
Charles Dickens’ beloved classic is sung to life by a traveling band of carolers this holiday season at Shakesperience! Ebenezer Scrooge wasn’t always a tight-fisted old miser. On a cold and foggy London evening, he is transported by ghosts to Christmases, past, present, and future. With his wretched future stretched out before him, Scrooge must truly consider the meaning of charity and the Christmas spirit. In signature Shakesperience fashion, the production staged in the round highlights the plight of the impoverished, and especially that of young people.
Original and live music, generated from the text, motivates the action of the two most famous warring families in history battle for the crown. Travel with the larger–than-life Richard III, Shakespeare’s villain king, as he plots his way to the crown against the backdrop of the Tower of London. Emily Mattina directs a cast, adorned like a deck of playing cards, into a wax museum depiction of the War of the Roses.
In 1926 radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches all the rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease. Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she battles the U.S. Radium Corporation and her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire. Emily Mattina's galley staging and dollhouse imagery lends to the production an intimacy with the characters not necessarily afforded by the script itself.
Pronounced “noting” in William Shakespeare’s day, the title feels both effervescent and suggestive of something more. “Noting” or observing is such an important tool for children and adults alike. The play penned midway through the poet’s career, bespeaks a shift in his writing and is a lighthearted comedy that simultaneously engages us on a moral level. It is an escape from reality in the form of masque, music and dance, at the same time bringing ethical questions to the forefront of our psyche. It’s a light interlude that keeps the fear of the “nothing” in our universe at bay. This production features original music composed for the text, as well as staging, scenery, and character work inspired by Mt. Parnassus and the muses.
Mattina's King Lear investigates the choices we make for our children and family as well as the overall welfare of children: physically, emotionally, and educationally. Explore the essence of blindness, both literally and figuratively,to our own actions, consequences and blessings. Dr. David Richman, published author, actor, director, and professor at The University of New Hampshire, stars as King Lear. Dr. Richman’s real-life blindness gives a literal portrayal of the "blindness" in his character.
Twin boys are separated from their father for 25 years. Each has a servant, who is twin a twin to the other servant of the same name. They all converge on the same town, where their father has also arrived, condemned to death and determined to find his long-lost family before the end. It’s a common situation. Emily Mattina directs this wild confusion to its neat and happy conclusion.
Two gentlemen, best friends since youth, part ways in Verona as one leaves for Milan. In time, both fall in love with the same girl in Milan, leaving a jilted girlfriend from Verona to follow them in disguise. Music, unrequited love, requited love,friendship, fools, and dogs, this Shakespeare classic comedy has it all!
Featuring original music under the direction of Emily Mattina, Prospero lures his enemies to the island to which they exiled him. Replete with magic, romance, and hostile intentions, this last of Shakespeare's solo plays concludes with redemption and forgiveness.
Our designing and performing artists weave a web-like land of live music, fantasy, dreams, and love to create Emily Mattina's A Midsummer Night’s Dream as you've never seen it before. Set in the human body and on segments of skeleton, the fairies are symbolic of blood vessels, the mechanicals of organs, and the lovers of white blood cells. Puck prevails over this world, fairly coaxing, dancing, and forcing us through it, highlighting the pulse of life, the joy and trials of living, and the conflicts between head and heart.
This classic production of Shakespeare's timeless tale of love, action and family feud is brought to life by five professional actors using the Bard's original language. The unique sound design enhances our innovative visceral one-hour adaptation. The solar system setting emphasizes the universal issues and themes in the play.
Six of our talented resident actors bring this thought-provoking story of love and jealousy to life using Shakespeare's incomparable text, and a unique sound design to create a visceral one-hour production. The interactive pre- and post-show with the students explores personal responsibility, peer pressure, and character development.
This depiction of the Thane of Glamis’ tragic thirst for power holds our natures up to the mirror created by live theatre and explores what makes us human. Staging on an atomic clock lends to the urgency of this dramatic production. The Shakesperience Approach engages the actor and audience to explore Shakespeare’s plays as a catalyst for conversation. In Macbeth we explore freedom of choice, ambition and greed, self-control, and allophilia - a positive attitude in regard to all groups of people.
Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue and betrayal is brought to life in this adaptation by Emily Mattina. Set on a giant set of balance scales, this production uses mirror and shadow concepts help tell the story of the balance of power in the capital of the Italian Empire, and “the noblest Roman of them all.”
Imprisoned inside a camera obscura, and dappled with various optical illusions, Hamlet’s world is turned upside down by his mother’s marriage to his uncle following the murder of his father. Hamlet’s unearthly sense of poetry, imagination past compare, deliciously acerbic sense of wit and word play, intrinsic knowledge and delight in the existence of the universe, and deep melancholy make this production a feast for the senses. Director Emily Mattina employs Plato's various states of being as the sound design broadcasts camera sounds and Bach cello concertos.
We've set this magical and imaginative journey into the world of Narnia inside a snow globe for this production. Claude-Monet-inspired seasons change through the show, which is packed with exciting action and wonderful dialog. This adaptation of the C.S. Lewis classic entertains as it educates to encourage reading, imagination, critical thinking, and character development. Interactive preshow and talkback sessions with the audience emphasize the importance of honesty, integrity, and treating others as you, yourself, would like to be treated.
With production elements inspired by the art of M.C. Escher, this story of the marionette with dreams of boyhood comes to life with original, live guitar music underscoring the entire production.
Emily Mattina’s original adaptation depicts Lewis Carroll’s creation of this classic tale as Alice relates to the author a dream about her adventures in Wonderland. Music box accompaniment underscores the action. Featuring young Alice, a more mature Alice, and Lewis Carroll, this show is set in and boasts appearances by Carroll’s contemporary, Salvadore Dali.
Two children tell the timeless tale of a beautiful maiden locked in a tower. Set on Möbius strip with costumes and design inspired by John Waterhouse, actors play recorders (live) as they conjure dramatic poetry and embroider their tale in the fabric of traditional fairytale imagery. The audience learns along with the children about respect, caring, honesty, fairness, and other values that help to shape us into good people.
In a world where man and animal uneasily coexist, three actors inhabit the creatures of the jungle to tell the story of Mowgli the man-cub. Through his adventures with Baloo and Bagheera, Mowgli learns about responsibility, respect, honesty, and the importance of rules, not the least of which is the Law of the Jungle. Emily Mattina has expertly crafted this production to incorporate theatre, puppetry, masks, dance, American Sign Language, live music from 10 instruments, a set of oversized Jackson Pollack and Pablo Picasso inspired Russian matryoshka dolls, and Kipling's themes of respecting your teachers and learning to learn.
With anti-bullying messages framed in the six pillars of character, Shakesperience employs a giant SOMA cube set with paintings inspired by J.M.W. Turner to show Arthur’s journey from obscurity to monarchy. Sorcerer Merlin and brother Kai help and guide him along the way as Arthur meets his destiny.
A shepherd girl races against time and popular opinion to protect and defend her dragon friend from other villagers, St. George the knight, and certain destruction. Inspired by the art of René Magritte, a giant set of Cuisenaire® rods and colorful costumes serve this production as it highlights themes of stereotype and prejudice encapsulated in environmental sustainability.
Painted onto the canvases of the young minds in our audiences, satirist Jonathan Swift's classic tale appears at your school. Students witness and participate in the wanderings of Lemuel Gulliver and his adventures with the quirky inhabitants of remote islands.
Conceived and directed by Emily Mattina with production design by Travis Lope, Gulliver's Travels was adapted for elementary school by Jacob Green. The production emphasizes assertiveness and the empowerment of standing up for one's self. Witness the dazzling changes in size and scale as this Shakesperience production entertains, educates and inspires.