Meet The Company

Board of Directors

Claudio Capone
Althea Coleman
Bill DeMaida
Gina Donato
Ed Hobson
Heather Wood Johnson
Bob Kelly
Joshua Novo
Jim O'Rourke
Diane Stewart
Daniel C. Vollaro, C.P.A.
Kathryn Walker  

Staff

Emily Mattina
Artistic Director 

Jeffrey Lapham
Executive Director 

Bilal Tajildeen
Marketing & Development

Peter Mulholland
Marketing & Operations Associate

Teresa Moran
Claudia Gage
Interim Education Managers

Awards & Achievements

2015 Elizabeth L. Mahaffey Arts Administration Fellow, Emily Mattina
2015 Mayor’s Arts & Culture Award
Headlined Shakespeare on the Shoreline (Guilford) since 2012
Headlined Shakespeare in Library Park (Waterbury) 2004-2014
2012 Certificate of Special Recognition for Service To Youth in New Britain
2011 Arts Organization of the Year from the Waterbury Neighborhood Council
Headlined Festival! Stratford, at American Shakespeare Festival Theater 2009-2011
2004 Celebrate our Communities Award from Community Fdn of Gr. New Britain
Forty under 40, 2006, Emily Mattina & Jeffrey Lapham
Connecticut Roster of Teaching Artists includes Emily Mattina
Connecticut Roster of Performing Artists includes Shakesperience Productions, Inc.

Emily Mattina, Executive Director

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. 

image-placeholder

Nathanial W.C. Higgins

 is thrilled to return to Shakesperience. Previous productions with the company include: Gulliver’s Travels (Gulliver & Emperor of Lilliput), The Prince & the Pauper (Tom Canty/Judge Hasty), The Gift of Peace (Jim/ British Soldier/ Chris), Shakespeare/Marlowe (Shakespeare), and Julius Caesar (Casca/Portia). He has also served as Stage Manager on The Two Gentlemen of Verona as well as lighting designer for many other productions.  He is a graduate of Niagara University with a B.F.A. in Theatre/Performance. 

image-placeholder

Claudia Janette Gage

is excited to be joining Shakesperience for the 2016-17 season! An Ohio native, she graduated from Youngstown State U. with her BA in theater studies. Before joining Shakesperience, she worked as an education intern at Lexington Children’s Theatre in Lexington, KY and as a character performer for Spectacular Party Entertainment in Warren, OH. Previous acting credits include Tartuffe (Mariane), A Steampunk Christmas Carol (Belle/Belinda/Chorus), and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Starveling).

image-placeholder

Brittney Symone Grant

is an Ohio native with a BFA in Theatre from Youngstown State University, with a semester abroad in South Korea where she was a drama club member. Before joining Shakesperience she played Katherine in Love's Labour's Lost at The People's Bank's Shakespeare by the River. Last September, she was Asst. Director on a show for Dobama Theatre. Some of her previous credits include The Crucible (Tituba), As You Like It (Audrey), Leading Ladies (Audrey), and Once On This Island (Little Ti Moune). She's very honored by this opportunity with Shakesperience. 

image-placeholder

Kirsten Peacock

is of British/American heritage and was raised a wee lass in the kingdom of Norway. She studied theatre in Canterbury, England, taking a year abroad at the University of California, Berkeley and finishing with a Masters in Directing. Her acting credits include roles in Macbeth (Arabian Shakespeare Company), The Awakening (The Breadbox Theatre), A Dreamplay (The Cutting Ball Theatre), Breaking the Code (Theatre Rhinoceros), A Streetcar Named Desire (T:24), and UK based physical theatre company, Entita Theatre. She has also taught, directed and choreographed in the Bay Area, the UK, and Italy.  

image-placeholder

Matthew Stein

is excited to be working with Shakesperience this spring. Originally from the town of Mahopac, NY, Matt received a B.A. in Theatre with a concentration in Performance Studies from Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA and then went on to study at The William Esper Studio acting conservatory in New York City. Since then, he has worked with several theatres in the New York area. Previous credits include The Merry Wives of Windsor and Pericles (Valley Shakespeare Festival), The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber, Bliss, and The Garden Party (Educational Theatre of NY), and Mrs. Ryan of Maspeth, Queens (Manhattan Theatre Source).  

image-placeholder

Richard Vogt

is from Pavilion, NY. He has a BFA in theatre performance from Niagara University with a minor in theatre design tech. Richard has also worked as a Entertainment Technician at Darien Lake Theme Park Resort (NY),  working with daredevil tight rope walker Nik Wallenda and others. He designed sound design for The Guns of Christmas and White-boy Othello in Buffalo. His favorite roles include Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Kimar), Twelfth Night (Malvolio), the world premiere of The Guns of Christmas (John), Evil Dead The Musical (Ed/Moose), and the Darien Lake original Dr. D.C. East's Spooky Science Show (Felix).