Meet The Company

Board of Directors & Staff

Claudio Capone
Bill DeMaida
Gina Donato
Bob Kelly
Joshua Novo
Jim O'Rourke
Diane Stewart
Daniel C. Vollaro, C.P.A.
Kathryn Walker  

Emily Mattina, Artistic Director

Jeffrey Lapham, Executive Director

Ashley Perry, General Manager

Richard Vogt, Marketing

Claudia Gage, Education 


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. 

Claudia Janette Gage

is excited to join Shakesperience! An OH native and graduate of Youngstown State U. (BA, theater studies), she was an edu. intern at Lexington Children’s Thtr.(KY) & character performer for Spectacular Party Entmt.(Warren, OH.) Fav. credits include Tartuffe (Mariane), Out of This Furnace (Mrs. Simchak/Secretary), Steampunk Christmas Carol (Belle/Belinda), & Midsummer Night’s Dream (Starveling).

Richard Vogt

is from Pavilion,NY. With a BFA in theatre performance from Niagara U. (minor in theatre design tech), Richard worked as an Entertainment Tech. @ Darien Lake w/daredevil Nik Wallenda & others. Fav. credits are Guns of Christmas & White-boy Othello in Buffalo, (sound design), Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (Kimar), Twelfth Night (Malvolio), Guns of Christmas (John), Evil Dead The Musical (Ed/Moose).

Joanna Ferbrache

is proudly a gypsy entertainer having performed in 3/4 of the US, with a goal to do so internationally. A graduate of Clarks Summit Univ. (BA in Communications Theatre & AA in Early Childhood Education), some favorite credits are Theatre of the Word’s King Lear (Cordelia), Broadway Palm/Gulf Coast Symphony’s South Pacific (Rita Adams) & the webseries Learning To Go (Sara).

Bradley Samodel

 is pleased to be joining the Shakesperience ensemble. A CT native, Brad is recently returned from his collegiate pursuits at Liberty University with a B.S in Theater, Cinema, and History. Brad has done various classical works, historical projects and festivals. Favorite credits include Macbeth (Fleance, Young Siward), Henry V (Montjoy), and Guys and Dolls (Benny Southstreet). 

Geoffrey Besser

is a recent graduate of Brown University who has studied Shakespeare and acting with Michael Howard Studios, The Shakespeare Forum, and The London Dramatic Academy, As a board member of Brown’s Shakespeare on the Green, Geoffrey specialized in producing site-specific Shakespeare and has played many different roles including Oswald (King Lear), Hamlet (Hamlet) and Claudio (Much Ado About Nothing).