Shakespeare in the Litchfield Hills is an immersive community event culminating in five free family-friendly outdoor “Shakespeare in the Park” presentations of Twelfth Night, produced by Shakesperience Productions, Inc. and featuring professional Equity actors.
Wednesday-Sunday, August 4-8
Picnicking: 7:00 pm
Performance: 7:30 pm
River Walk Pavilion, 11 School Street, Washington Depot, CT
The ensemble includes you. Volunteer to join the Publicity Team, Education Interns, Backstage Crew, Ushers, Wardrobe Crew, Scenic Painters & Carpenters.
Join us to build and paint scenery at River Walk Pavilion:
July 26-31, 8am-6pm,
or help us take it down:
Monday, August 10, 8am-6pm
Hand out brochures to promote the event or program books at the event:
Saturdays, Dates TBD, 1 Green Hill Rd, Washington Depot, CT
Saturdays, Dates TBD, Woodruff Lane, Litchfield, CT
August 4-8, 6:00pm, River Walk Pavilion
Help us prepare and maintain 22 costumes, join the running crew, and more!
We are looking for many hosts in area towns willing to house one or more Shakesperience company members. A fully background-checked member of the Shakesperience family could be bunking at your house! Please volunteer your spare bedroom, boat house, pool house, or apartment during:
our rehearsal dates from mid-July - July 31
our dress rehearsal & production from August 1 - 9
To help us match hosts and company members, please complete and submit this questionnaire. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out about the concepts, designs, and backstage happenings around Twelfth Night. Attend one of Director Emily Mattina’s Twelfth Night discussions in the community. Times TBD.
Invest in the effort of the Friends of Shakesperience in the Litchfield Hills to present Shakespeare in the Park, 2021. Join our growing list of supporters, including these 2019 sponsors:
Byrde & the b ● Community Table ● Connecticut Community Foundation
County Wine & Spirits ● DK Schulman Design ● Dramalites ● GW Tavern
Hickory Stick Bookshop ● Institute for American Indian Studies
James G. Kelly Law Offices ● Litchfield Distillery ● Minuteman Press
Rumsey Hall School ● The Owl ● Town of Washington
Valley Spirit Health & Wellness ● Washington Cleaners
Washington Supply Company ● WZBG ● The Connecticut Office of Arts (DECD)
Donate directly to the restricted fund for Shakespeare in the Litchfield Hills. Shakesperience will invest these proceeds in the director, actors, musicians, lighting, audio, and other direct costs of the summer production for 2021:
Thanks to the unexpectedly large crowds for the inaugural Shakespeare in the Litchfield Hills Production of The Comedy of Errors (2019),
we ran out of program books! Here's a digital copy. Please support our sponsors & advertisers.
Artistic Director Emily Mattina directs family-friendly adaptations of Shakespeare for summertime enjoyment. Ranging from ninety-minute to two-hour productions, they frequently feature a chorus of talented students alongside the professional cast, an Elizabethan feel to the costumes, a metaphorical setting, and an original music design to underscore and enhance the performance for a modern audience.
Shakesperience Summer Shakespeare History:
Shakespeare in Library Park (Waterbury), 2005-2014
Festival!Stratford (Stratford), 2009-2011
Vintage Shakesperience, (on the CT wine trail), 2010-2015
Shakespeare on the Shoreline (Guilford), 2012-2017
Shakespeare in Hollow Park (Woodbury), 2016 & 2017
Shakespeare in the Litchfield Hills (Washington Depot), 2019
Ms. Mattina revised her original production from 2015 for the inaugural Shakespeare in the Litchfield Hills. More than an encore, this immersive production featured actors who were students, members of the community, professionals, and members of the Actors' Equity Association.
Dr. David Richman returns to Shakesperience as Prospero! 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.
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!
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.
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.
Benedick & Beatrice. Claudio & Hero. Follow the romantic entanglements of Don Pedro’s friends on his visit to the house of Leonato. Shakesperience Artistic Director Emily Mattina directed the comedy classic for Summer 2013.
Witness 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 Richard III to feature actors from community to support her resident company of veteran professional resident artists and wraps a larger than life deck of playing cards into the costume and set designs.
Our designing and performing artists weave a tale replete with live music, fantasy, dreams, and love to create Emily Mattina's A Midsummer Night’s Dream as you've never seen it before. The Mechanicals set the scene as Puck prevails over this Arabian Nights inspired 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.
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.
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.
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?