The College of Arts and Architecture

Elisa Mathews

Elisa Matthews

Elisa Matthews (MM Pedagogy and Performance '00) has been nominated for a Barrymore Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Musical for her work playing the role of Lily Craven in Philadelphia's Arden Theatre production of The Secret Garden. The awards will be announced October 24, 2016.

The Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theatre are a nationally recognized symbol of excellence for professional theatre in the Greater Philadelphia region, honoring local artists and theatre companies while increasing public awareness of the richness and diversity of the city's thriving theatre community.

The Philadelphia Inquirer wrote "...when Archibald sings with the ghost of his late wife, Lily (Elisa Matthews), the results are hauntingly vivid" and "A Girl in the Valley and How Could I Ever Know were splendid duets, with Coon and Matthews." Philadelphia Magazine praised Elisa's "shimmering soprano" and DC Metro described Elisa's voice as "glittering." The  Allentown Morning Call wrote "The Secret Garden requires strong singers and Arden had that in Jeffrey Coon's tortured Archibald Craven and Elisa Matthews' ethereal Lily Craven, whose arias are phenomenal." Theatre Sensation said "Playing Lily, Archibald’s deceased wife who haunts him, is Elisa Matthews. Matthews appears almost angelic throughout the show, and her voice is stunning, particularly in 'How Could I Ever Know.'” The run of The Secret Garden has been extended due to popular demand.

Elisa Matthews is a singer, actor, and voice teacher based in Philadelphia. A two-time Barrymore Award nominee, she recently played the role of Irene Molloy in Hello Dolly!, garnering rave reviews. Prior to that, she starred in The Sound of Music and played Mrs. Anderssen in the Arden Theatre's critically acclaimed production of A Little Night Music.  

Elisa's other regional credits include Lily in The Secret Garden with 11th Hour Theatre Company (Next Step Concert Series), Meg in Little Women with Bristol Riverside Theatre, Guenevere in Camelot with Ohio Light Opera, Betty in Sunset Boulevard (Philadelphia Theatre Critic's and Broadwayworld award nominee), Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, Grace in Annie (featuring Wanda Sykes), Sharon in Masterclass (featuring Tony nominee Ann Crumb) with Media Theatre, Johanna in Sweeney Todd with Arden Theatre, and Belle in A Christmas Carol with People’s Light & Theatre. 

Also active as an opera and concert soloist, Elisa's opera roles include Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro, Zerlina in Don Giovanni, Papagena in The Magic Flute, Valencienne in The Merry Widow, Nella in Gianni Schicchi, Beth in Little Women and Kate Pinkerton in Madame Butterfly. On the concert stage, Elisa has made frequent appearances with the Philly Pops, Ocean City Pops, and Bristol Riverside Theatre's Musicales as well as solo work with many symphonies and orchestras. Next up, she will sing the role of Magnolia in a concert version of Show Boat with Ocean City Pops.

While she was a student at Penn State, Elisa was a voice student of Norman Spivey. She is married to guitarist and music educator, Diego Maugeri.