Rep. Ron Napoli, Jr.
Daniel C. Vollaro, C.P.A.
Emily Mattina, Artistic Director
Isaiah Santiago, Managing Director
Jeffrey Lapham, Executive Producer
Jessica Gaddis, Program Manager of Arts & Education
Lisa VanGeersdaele, Marketing Associate
■ 2015 Elizabeth L. Mahaffey Arts Administration Fellow, Emily Mattina
■ 2015 Mayor’s Arts & Culture Award
■ 2012 Certificate of Special Recognition for Service To Youth in New Britain
■ 2011 Arts Organization of the Year from the Waterbury Neighborhood Council
■ 2004 Celebrate our Communities Award from Community Fdn of Gr. New Britain
■ 2006 Forty under 40, Emily Mattina & Jeffrey Lapham
■ Headlined Shakespeare in the Litchfield Hills (Washington) 2017-2022
■ 2017 named an impactful Cornerstone Partner of the Conn. Community Fdn.
■ Headlined Shakespeare on the Shoreline (Guilford) 2012-2017
■ Connecticut Roster of Teaching Artists includes Emily Mattina
■ Connecticut Roster of Performing Artists includes Shakesperience Productions, Inc.
■ Headlined Shakespeare in Library Park (Waterbury) 2004-2014
■ Headlined Festival! Stratford, at American Shakespeare Festival Theater 2009-2011
The founder of Shakesperience, Ms. Mattina tirelessly guides the company to offering innovative touring productions, including a new program highlighting the culturally and historically rich neighborhoods of Waterbury, CT and starring its youngest residents. In her 15 years of directing, her productions have headlined festivals, including Shakespeare in Library Park, Shakespeare in Hollow Park, Festival! Stratford, Shakespeare on the Shoreline, and Vintage Shakesperience, a tour of Connecticut’s wine trail. Emily’s educational programs and public performances have received high acclaim and recognition, including enthusiastic reviews, presentations for Connecticut’s HOTS Schools, speaking and interviews for UCONN Theatre classes, and guest lectures for her alma mater, the University of New Hampshire.
Ms. Mattina has worked as an actor, director, teaching artist, and arts administrator for companies and regional tours based in California, Connecticut, Minnesota, and New York. She consults with other nonprofit arts groups regarding collaboration, outreach, education and positive company culture. She is proudly listed on the Connecticut Office of the Arts Directory of Teaching Artists. The New Haven Business Times named Ms. Mattina among the 2006 "Forty Under 40" for her professional success and community involvement in New Haven County. Ms. Mattina was also named the State of Connecticut’s 2015 Elizabeth L. Mahaffey Arts Administration Fellow.
Since attaining her M.A. in 17th Century English Literature with an emphasis on Shakespeare from the University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, England, Ms. Mattina has directed approximately half of Shakespeare’s canon at least once. Her favorite ongoing creative endeavor is nurturing her two beautiful children, Thomas Charles and Viola Lucia.
Isaiah, born and raised in The Bronx New York attended Bronx Theatre High School where his passion for theatre and the arts led him to work in student production workshops at the Roundabout Theatre Company both acting and directing technical theatre and assisting in productions at Harvest Fields Community Church. After College Isaiah worked in various non-profit companies and schools that helped him Develop the skills necessary to help Shakesperience continue their work in the community.
Jessica is thrilled to join Shakesperience. Since graduating from Emporia State University in Kansas, she has performed for multiple community theatres in Wichita. Her favorites were Wichita Shakespeare Company’s productions in the park. She played Maria in Love’s Labor’s Lost set in the 1920s, and multiple characters including Pisanio and the soothsayer in Cymbeline. She spent four years in China teaching with Disney English. Shakesperience marks her return to theatre and her first time ever working with a professional theatre company.
Emiliano Pliego is an actor and a wardrobe supervisor based in Dallas, Texas. He is ecstatic to join Shakesperience Productions as part of their resident acting company. His recent credits include: Spring Awakening - (Otto), Much Ado About Nothing - Shakespeare Dallas (Balthasar) , Hello, Dolly! - The Firehouse Theatre (Ensemble), Crystal City 1969 - Cara Mia Theatre (Wardrobe supervisor), Hamlet - Shakespeare Dallas ( Assist. wardrobe supervisor) Midsummer Nights/tempest - Shakespeare Dallas (Assist. Wardrobe supervisor) The Sound Of Music - Tony Award Winner Dallas theatre center (Assist. Child supervisor), A Christmas Carol - (Assist. Child Supervisor) Tony Award Winner Dallas Theater Center.
Marcel Rivera Ramirez, a Puerto Rican born and raised actor. AMDA graduate and he’s excited to be joining the Shakesperience company as a resident actor and choreographer of the musical Dia de Los Reyes.
Annabel Espinal is a singer, actor, and puppeteer originally from NJ/NYC. She trained at the American Musical and Dramatic Academy in NYC for musical theatre and graduated in 2017. Since then she’s been in a variety of different musicals and plays for different children’s theatre. Some credits include; LegoLand New York Resort (Big Test Stunt Show) LICM Theatre (Christmas Carol, Elephant and Piggie: We’re in a Play, Don’t Let Pigeon Drive the Bus The Musical), Hershey Park (Caroler), Nickelodeon Universe (Slime Time Live), and many more.