Meet The Company

Board of Directors

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


Emily Mattina
Artistic Director 

Jeffrey Lapham
Executive Director 

Bilal Tajildeen
Marketing & Development

Rebecca Brown
Education Manager

Nate Higgins
Lead Resident Artist 

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 also received the State of Connecticut’s 2015 Elizabeth L. Mahaffey Arts Administration Fellowship.  

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. 


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. 


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).


Pat Donahue

has been working with Shakesperience since 2013 and is thrilled to be joining the acting ensemble full-time. He has appeared in two productions each of A Christmas Carol and Radium Girls for Shakesperience, as well as King Lear (summer 2014), The Comedy of Errors (summer 2015), and The Gift of Peace (Christmas 2014). He is a graduate of Connecticut College and the Eugene O'Neill Center's National Theater Institute