Our Artistic Director
Emily Mattina, Artistic
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
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.
section cover article profiling Emily from the
May 12, 2009 Republican American newspaper.
Jeffrey Lapham, Executive
is a co-founder of Shakesperience Productions, Inc. Having completed
his entire primary education in the Milford, Connecticut public
schools, he attended Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, where he
earned a B.A. in Mathematics with minors in Technical Theater and
Classical Studies in 1994. After graduation, Mr. Lapham worked in the
scene shop of Long Wharf Theater for two years before joining the Youth
Tour of the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in 1996. Jeff served two years
there as Production Manager and finished his sixth Summer Musical
Season having ably filled the position of Technical Director.
While working on the production and
sides of Shakesperience in its infancy, Mr. Lapham worked as a
freelance theatre technician throughout Connecticut, including at Long
Wharf Theater, Hartford Stage Company, the Quick Center for the Arts at
Fairfield University, the International Festival of Arts and Ideas,
Yale Rep, and Goodspeed Opera, and several others. At the end of his
freelance career, Mr. Lapham joined Cheney Designs in Bridgeport (now
Bethel), where he worked on all aspects of props and scenery
construction for commercial theatre, event, and video clients from a
variety of business sectors.
From 2000-2003, Mr. Lapham served as the
director for the Theater of the Performing Arts at Hartford's Learning
Corridor, and as an Artist/Instructor in the Theater, Design &
Production Department at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts
(GHAA), both under the auspices of the Capitol Region Education Council
(CREC). After nearly 4 years of teaching and technical directing, Jeff
resigned from his CREC positions to fully assume his roles at
Shakesperience, the rapidly expanding company he had co-founded in
1998. In 2011, after Shakesperience constituted the
mainstage act for Festival! Stratford (on the grounds of the American
Shakespeare Festival Theater) for two years, Mr. Lapham served as the
Executive Producer of that festival, leading that committee to double
the event’s size and duration.
In 2007 his work for Shakesperience and the
community was recognized by his selection for The New Haven Business
Times list of “Forty Under Forty” business professionals in New Haven
County. He helped manage the Greater Waterbury/Litchfield
Culture Assessment, was 2008 Volunteer of the Year for Main Street
Waterbury, and currently serves as Treasurer of the Arts &
Collaborative, the Waterbury region's arts council.