Samples of Work

Shakesperience Productions, Inc. is both proud and protective of its educational feats, artistic achievements, intellectual property, concepts and approaches. Here are some of the signature works  Shakesperience has presented since its inception:

Public Body of Work

Hamlet (2008)

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? 

Twelfth Night (2009)

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. 

Henry V (2010)

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 Midsummer Night's Dream (2011)

The cast of this comedy-favorite materializes to  portray Shakespeare’s tale of mistaken identity, of good intentions gone awry, of mystical forces and their effects on mortal life, of love won and lost and won again.  Emily Mattina balances this production in the mysterious  territory between dreams and reality, with telescoping concepts aligning meta-theatrical levels: Arabian Nights, stage crew, and time travel.  The production cross-fades through the confining order and structure of the Athenian court, the lawlessness of the forest, and the disconcerting randomness of the dream state.  In true Shakesperience fashion, the audience for A Midsummer Night’s Dream is included in the magic as an essential player in our scenes. 

A Christmas Carol (2011)

Charles Dickens’ beloved classic is sung to life by a traveling band of carolers this  holiday season at Shakesperience! Ebenezer Scrooge wasn’t always a  tight-fisted old miser.  On a cold and foggy London evening, he is transported by ghosts to Christmases, past, present, and future. With his wretched future stretched out before him, Scrooge must truly consider the meaning of charity and the Christmas spirit.  In signature Shakesperience fashion, the production staged in the round highlights the plight of the impoverished, and especially that of young people. 

Richard III (2012)

Original and live music, generated from the text, motivates the action of 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 a cast, adorned like a deck of playing cards, into a wax museum depiction of the War of the Roses. 

Radium Girls (2012)

In 1926 radium was a miracle cure, Madame Curie an international celebrity, and luminous watches all the rage—until the girls who painted them began to fall ill with a mysterious disease.  Inspired by a true story, Radium Girls traces the efforts of Grace Fryer, a dial painter, as she battles the U.S. Radium Corporation and her own family and friends, who fear that her campaign for justice will backfire.  Emily Mattina's galley staging and dollhouse imagery lends to the production an intimacy with the characters not necessarily afforded by the script itself. 

Much Ado About Nothing (2013)

Pronounced “noting” in William Shakespeare’s day,  the title feels both effervescent and suggestive of something more. “Noting” or observing is such an important tool for children and adults alike. The play penned midway through the poet’s career, bespeaks a shift in his writing and is a lighthearted comedy that simultaneously engages us on a moral level. It is an escape from reality in the form of masque, music and dance, at the same time bringing ethical questions to the forefront of our psyche. It’s a light interlude that keeps the fear of the “nothing” in our universe at bay. This production features original music composed for the text, as well as staging, scenery, and character work inspired by Mt. Parnassus and the muses. 

King Lear (2014)

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.  

The Comedy of Errors (2015)

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. 

Two Gentlemen of Verona (2016)

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!  

The Tempest (2017)

...more information soon!

High School Body of Work

A Midsummer Night's Dream (2005)

Our designing and performing artists weave a web-like land of live music, fantasy, dreams, and love to create Emily Mattina's A Midsummer Night’s Dream as you've never seen it before.  Set in the human body and on segments of skeleton, the fairies are symbolic of blood vessels, the mechanicals of organs, and the lovers of white blood cells. Puck prevails over this 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. 

Julius Caesar (2009)

Shakespeare’s tale of political intrigue and betrayal is brought to life in this adaptation by Emily Mattina. Set on a giant set of balance scales, this production uses  mirror and shadow concepts help tell the story of the balance of power in the capital of the Italian Empire, and “the noblest Roman of them all.”

Hamlet (2011)

Imprisoned inside a camera obscura, and dappled with various optical illusions, Hamlet’s world  is turned upside down by his mother’s marriage to his uncle following the  murder of his father. Hamlet’s unearthly sense of poetry, imagination past  compare, deliciously acerbic sense of wit and word play, intrinsic knowledge and delight in the existence of the universe, and deep melancholy make this production a feast for the senses. Director Emily Mattina employs Plato's  various states of being as the sound design broadcasts camera sounds and Bach cello concertos.

Romeo & Juliet (2015)

This classic production of Shakespeare's timeless tale of love, action and family feud is brought to life by five professional actors using the Bard's original language. The unique sound design enhances our innovative visceral one-hour adaptation. The solar system setting emphasizes the universal issues and themes in the play.  

Elementary Body of Work

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (2006)

We've set this magical  and imaginative journey into the world of Narnia inside a snow globe for this production.  Claude-Monet-inspired seasons change through the show, which is packed with exciting action and wonderful dialog.  This adaptation  of this C.S. Lewis classic entertains as it educates to encourage reading,  imagination, critical thinking, and character development.  Interactive  preshow and talkback sessions with the audience emphasize the importance of honesty, integrity, and treating others as you, yourself, would like to be treated.

Pinocchio (2007)

With production elements  inspired by the art of M.C. Escher, this story of the marionette with dreams  of boyhood comes to life with original, live guitar music underscoring the  entire production.

Alice In Wonderland (2008)

Emily Mattina’s original  adaptation depicts Lewis Carroll’s creation of this classic tale as Alice  relates to the author a dream about her adventures in Wonderland.  Music  box accompaniment underscores the action.  Featuring young Alice, a more mature Alice, and Lewis Carroll, this show is set in and boasts appearances  by Carroll’s contemporary, Salvadore Dali.

Rapunzel (2009)

Two children tell the timeless tale of a beautiful maiden locked in a tower.  Set on Möbius  strip with costumes and design inspired by John Waterhouse, actors play recorders  (live) as they conjure dramatic poetry and embroider their tale in the fabric  of traditional fairytale imagery. The audience learns along with the children  about respect, caring, honesty, fairness, and other values that help to shape  us into good people.

The Jungle Book (2010)

In a world where man  and animal uneasily coexist, three actors inhabit the creatures of the jungle  to tell the story of Mowgli the man-cub.  Through his adventures with  Baloo and Bagheera, Mowgli learns about responsibility, respect, honesty,  and the importance of rules, not the least of which is the Law of the Jungle.  Emily Mattina has expertly crafted this production to incorporate theatre,  puppetry, masks, dance, American Sign Language, live music from 10 instruments,  a set of oversized Jackson Pollack and Pablo Picasso inspired Russian matryoshka  dolls, and Kipling's themes of respecting your teachers and learning to learn.

The Sword in the Stone (2012):

With anti-bullying  messages framed in the six pillars of character, Shakesperience employs a giant SOMA cube set with paintings inspired by J.M.W. Turner to show Arthur’s journey from obscurity to monarchy. Sorcerer Merlin and brother Kai help and guide him along the way as Arthur meets his destiny.

The Reluctant Dragon (2013)

A shepherd girl races against time and popular opinion to protect and defend her dragon friend from other villagers, St. George the knight, and certain destruction. Inspired by the art of René Magritte, a giant set of Cuisenaire® rods and colorful costumes serve this production as it highlights themes of stereotype and prejudice encapsulated in environmental sustainability.

Gulliver's Travels (2015)

 Painted  onto the canvases of the young minds in our audiences, satirist  Jonathan Swift's classic tale appears at your school. Students witness  and participate in the wanderings of Lemuel Gulliver and his adventures  with the quirky inhabitants of remote islands. 
Conceived and directed by Emily Mattina with production design by Travis Lope, Gulliver's Travels was  adapted for elementary school by Jacob Green. The production emphasizes  assertiveness and the empowerment of standing up for one's self.  Witness the dazzling changes in size and scale as this Shakesperience  production entertains, educates and inspires.