Meet The Company

Board of Directors & Staff

Bill DeMaida
Gina Donato

Deb Gaudette
Joshua Novo
Jim O'Rourke
Jennifer Rondinara-Solla

Diane Stewart
Daniel C. Vollaro, C.P.A.
Kathryn Walker  

Emily Mattina, Artistic Director

Jeffrey Lapham, Executive Director

Robert Cuadrado, Production Manager
Maggie Hirst, Education Manager

Chelsiah Joseph, 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 


2017 named an impactful Cornerstone Partner of the Conn. Community Fdn.

Headlined Shakespeare on the Shoreline (Guilford) since 2012  

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


Emily Mattina, Artistic 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. 

Maggie Hirst


is excited to join Shakesperience. Maggie has received her BA in acting and dance performance from Christopher Newport University, in her home state of Virginia. She was the education and marketing intern at the American Repertory Theater in 2017, right before touring as a performer with True to Life Training in their production of It Is My Place. Favorite performance credits include Noises off!, James and the Giant Peach, and Dog Sees God. 

David Raccio


is a Connecticut native and a recent graduate of Muhlenberg College where he earned a BA in Theatre (acting concentration) as well as Political Science. David studied physical comedy at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo Italy. As a student, David made a name for himself by playing many absurd, larger than life characters such as, “Father Ubu” in Ubu Roi, “The Fire Captain” in The Bald Soprano, and “Dr. Lombardi (il dottore)” in The Servant of Two Masters."

Katherine Freel


 is an actor, musician, and comedian. Originally from Texas, Katherine has performed all over the country. Some previous credits include: Bawd in “Pericles”, Witch in “Macbeth”, Lucius in “Julius Caesar”, Traino in “Taming of the Shrew”, and Clara in “Hay Fever". Favorite role is being Josh’s trivia partner. BFA: New York University, Tisch. Website: