Center Stage Theatre
Center Stage Theatre, Inc.
54 Grove St.
Shelton CT 06484
Contact Information
Address Center Stage Theatre, Inc.
54 Grove St.
Shelton, CT 06484-
Telephone (203) 225-6079 x
Fax 203-513-8284
Web and Social Media
Audiences had the "Time of Their Lives" during Mamma Mia. For a glimpse, watch the Mamma Mia Mega Mix video.
Patrons "Jumped for Joy" over Center Stage Theatre's production of Crazy for You that opened our 2019-2020 Season.
The Education Center provides programming for students from Pre-K through High School. Classes include acting, dance, vocal techniques, play-writing as well as technical production.
Building community one performance at a time through high-quality theatrical productions and performing arts education.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2007
Former Names
Center Stage on Center Street
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years Yes
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Martin Scott Marchitto
Board Chair Mr. Joseph Pagliaro
Board Chair Company Affiliation Riverview and Edward F Adzima Funeral Homes
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Mission Building community one performance at a time through high-quality theatrical productions and performing arts education.

Center Stage Theatre was founded in 2005 by Francesca Scarpa (Executive Director) and Gary Scarpa (Artistic Director). The Scarpa’s have directed and produced over 200 productions in their 40+ year career. Gary and Francesca also founded the highly acclaimed Youth CONNection in 1983.

Now in its 37th year, our annual Youth CONNection summer musical kicks off each new season at Center Stage Theatre. Over the course of more than three decades, thousands of young performers in their teens and early twenties have been enriched by their experiences of participating in Youth CONNection musicals. Some have gone on to professional careers, while others continue to perform in and support local theatres, like ours! With a combination of talent, energy, and professionalism, our young adult performers have brought the greatest Broadway musicals to life. The Youth CONNection has also given benefit performances for civic organizations and worthy causes throughout the state, including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, the American Cancer Society, Hospice, the Ronald McDonald House, Harvest House, AIDS Project New Haven, and UNICEF to name a few.

As they look forward to participating in the Youth CONNection, children and young teens enjoy many other opportunities at the Center Stage Education Center. CSEC provides programs and activities to students ranging in age from Pre-K through High School that include summer theatre camp, theatre arts classes, and workshops throughout the year.

As of January 1, 2019, Center Stage welcomed new Executive/ Artistic Director, Martin Marchitto. Martin, an accomplished theater director, designer, teacher, and former Youth CONNection member, brings continuity and inspired vision and vitality to Center Stage as it celebrates a 16-year history and looks to a vibrant future!


Serving a region often thought of as culturally deprived, Center Stage offers community theatre of the highest quality, providing access to thousands of area residents to participate in and enjoy theatre. Our 15th season runs from July 2020 through April 2021 and features five major productions: WEDDING SINGER, CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF, A CHRISTMAS STORY, HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME and CALENDAR GIRLS.

Adult actors, both new and experienced have found a home here, where they can apply their skills in a working environment that meets their scheduling needs and fits in the framework of their career and family commitments.

Center Stage provides opportunities for volunteers of all ages to participate in all aspects of theatrical production. We thrive because of the hundreds of volunteers who build and paint our sets, act in our shows, run sound and lights, usher patrons, sell refreshments, clean and organize our theatre space, help with marketing, and many other tasks that keep us going strong!

In 2018, Center Stage started the Center Stage Education Center (CSEC) in a satellite location. During 2019, three classroom spaces were secured at 54 Grove Street, allowing us to come together under one roof. This provided us the opportunity to expand course offerings to include technical and production classes. Teachers/Students now have ready access to the theatre and shared assets (costumes, props, set pieces). CSEC continues to provide theater arts classes, camps, and workshops.

Center Stage now has a fully equipped costume shop that enables our volunteer costumers to build costumes in a designated space with proper equipment. We offer classes and workshops in construction and sewing techniques particularly to costuming for the stage!

Renovations and improvements have been made to our theatrical lighting and lobby area. In 2019, a new sound booth was constructed. The spotlights were moved on top of the booth, creating a secure space for our volunteer lighting operators. 

1. Annual Operating Support - It is Center Stage Theatre’s goal to continue to provide high-quality theater and theater education at affordable prices. Ticket sales and tuition do not cover all our general operating needs. Support from our funders, donors, and sponsors helps to fulfill our mission statement and provide the necessary dollars needed to achieve this goal and support all our activities.


2. Facility Improvements – In order to create a more professional and inviting atmosphere, Center Stage will continue to improve the aesthetic quality of our entry area and theater lobby. Steps to success will include an architectural plan (which would also address safety assessment) and rendering that Center Stage can use to solicit donations and naming rights.

3. Development support - As Center Stage continues to grow under new Executive/Artistic Director Martin Marchitto, and building on the 2018 three-year Strategic Plan, Center Stage needs a part-time staff person to assist with short and long-range development.

4. Increase marketing - Increase group sales and ticket revenue, particularly for the Youth CONNection Annual Summer Musical.

5. Outreach - Partnering with special needs organizations to provide artistic opportunities for their client base. 

CEO Statement

The founding and eventual success of Center Stage Theatre is the fulfillment of a vision and a dream that began forty years ago when we, as a couple, devoted ourselves to bringing quality theatre to Shelton and the Lower Naugatuck Valley. We always knew that our work profoundly affected the lives of young people, but, with the advent of Center Stage, we have found that our work in theatre has the same impact on adults of all ages, whether they experience Center Stage as an actor, a set builder, a volunteer, or an audience member.

Many people have expressed the importance of Center Stage in improving and enhancing the quality their lives. Center Stage gives people a place to belong and to experience the benefits of community. Audience members often come in small groups - neighbors, widows, families, girlfriends. Volunteers, working in a particular area like set construction or costuming form a community of new friends. Senior citizens have often said how important Center Stage is in bringing accessible and affordable to them at a time of their lives when traveling distances and fixed incomes are challenges they face. Community building amongst cast, crew, and volunteers is at the forefront of our work. We can think of no greater compliment than when a Center Stage participant says that Center Stage is like their home and the community feels like family. Working together toward a common goal and learning that, together, using the unique gifts of all involved, we can accomplish great things!

It is clear to us that our work in community theatre helps to keep the medium vibrant and alive on a larger scale. The importance of our theatre education program can’t be underestimated in that regard. While a few of our young performers may continue on to professional careers, the majority will undoubtedly be tomorrow’s theatre going public. The accessibility and the affordability of Center Stage make our productions available to a senior citizen demographic who has always loved live theatre. Our productions give both experienced and new actors a chance to work together and enjoy their love of performing. Those of all ages, not interested in performing, are afforded the opportunity to contribute behind the scenes in the various aspects of creating live theatre.

 At Center Stage, children, teens, and adults act side by side, volunteer side by side, and enjoy live performances side by side!

Your generous support of Center Stage Theatre will have a significant impact on the many actors, patrons, and volunteers who love theatre in the Lower Naugatuck Valley. With your help, we are able to continue our work, “Building community one performance at a time” at Center Stage. Thank you for considering Center Stage Theatre in your plans for charitable giving!

Martin Scott Marchitto
Artistic/Executive Director


Board Chair Statement

Established in 2005, Center Stage is a welcome and much-needed component of the City of Shelton and the Lower Naugatuck Valley. Upon opening Center Stage, the Scarpas, well known and esteemed for their many years of work with young people in theatre, made an even greater commitment to the performing arts by establishing a theatre in our community with a full season of productions featuring adult actors and a comprehensive theatre education program 15 years ago.  

It has been a journey and a process, and today, under the direction of new Executive/Artistic Director Martin Marchitto,  we are pleased to be operating out of The Richard O. Belden Cultural Center, a city building that meets our needs nicely, to have a strong and growing board of directors, and to have a comprehensive strategic plan which we are confident will carry us far into the future.

Productions at Center Stage Theatre touch the lives of several thousand people of all ages. It is always a pleasure to enjoy performances at Center Stage as casts of talented actors deliver high-quality performances, capturing and synthesizing the essence of Center Stage Theatre’s mission!

We are grateful to have received funding from the Valley Community Foundation, the Community Foundation of Greater New Haven,  the Katharine Matthies Foundation, and the Jamie Hulley Arts Foundation,  and the State of Connecticut all of whom recognize our importance to the region we serve.

Center Stage Theatre relies not only on grant-giving organizations like these but also on the generosity of donors like you!  Thank you, in advance, for your contribution.  With your help, we can continue "Building Community One Performance at a Time"!

Joseph Pagliaro


Board of Directors

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Theater
Secondary Organization Category Education /
Tertiary Organization Category Youth Development /
Areas Served
Lower Naugatuck Valley
New Haven
West Haven
Center Stage Theatre primarily serves the towns which comprise the Lower Naugatuck Valley: Shelton, Derby, Ansonia, Seymour, Oxford, and Beacon Falls, although our patrons also come from other Connecticut communities such as Stratford, Trumbull, Newtown, Monroe, West Haven, New Haven, Orange, Woodbridge and surrounding towns.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Comments Center Stage Theatre, Inc. is so very fortunate to have outstanding support from funders and patrons alike.  With their help, we are thrilled to bring high-quality productions and theatrical training to so many residents in the Lower Naugatuck Valley.  We look forward to increasing our efforts in collaboration, education, and outreach so that more people can experience the excitement of live theatre.  Center Stage is a member of ASCAP, the American Association of Community Theaters and the Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce
Center Stage Theatre's summer Youth CONNection musical, with a cast of high school and college students,  kicks off our 2020-2021 season with Wedding Singer. We round out our season with four Main Stage productions  featuring age appropriate casts, running from early October through the end of April. The 2020-2021 Main Stage productions are: Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, A Christmas Story, Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Calendar Girls. For details and show dates please visit,
During the year, Center Stage also presents a variety of cabaret events, which feature Broadway, jazz, folk, and rock music.  For these events, patrons bring their own refreshments and are seated at tables and chairs.   
Each year, Center Stage presents our annual Teen Musical Theater Workshop and Musical Theater Workshop Jr. featuring talented students in grades 3 through 12.
Population Served General/Unspecified / Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / Adults
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

Center Stage Theatre’s 2020 - 2021 season is brought to the stage by Executive/Artistic Director Martin Marchitto and a talented team of volunteer actors, directors, and technical personnel. This year, Center Stage productions will be attended by approximately 10,000 people, and our Youth CONNection summer musical will draw an audience of about 3,000. Center Stage sells season subscriptions, which are historically purchased by around 600 patrons.  The community at large appreciates the quality of our productions, supporting Center Stage with ongoing donations.  The Center Stage Education Center enrolls approximately 150 students in classes, workshops and Summer Camp.   


Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

 The Lower Naugatuck Valley has few cultural venues. Center Stage productions enhance the quality of life in the Lower Naugatuck Valley. The City of Shelton has been a long-time supporter of the Youth CONNection, and in 2011, when the opportunity presented itself, the City enthusiastically agreed to repurpose the vacant Lafayette School as a home for Center Stage at a very reasonable monthly cost. This repurposed space provides a welcome environment in which people of all ages can gather to share live theater events, participate in theater education classes, and have opportunities to volunteer in a creative activity that promotes community building. Through the years, thousands of people have experienced the benefits of live theater performances in their community.  This rich history continues as Center Stage begins its 16th Season under the direction of new Executive/Artistic Director, Martin Marchitto! 


Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

Center Stage Theatre considers a variety of factors in measuring its success. First and foremost, the Theatre’s goal is to provide a nurturing and welcoming environment for its volunteer actors and technical support team. Experienced actors and technical people, many with professional experience, work alongside novices in an atmosphere that supports teamwork and growth. Time and again, Center Stage volunteers have described the organization as a “family”!

The Youth CONNection, which began in 1983 and became part of Center Stage in 2005, is one of the most historic and successful summer theatre programs for teens in Connecticut. The group has been recognized with the Silver Seal Award by the Valley Chamber of Commerce as well as the Millennium Award by the City of Shelton.

We also measure our success through the analysis of reports generated by our point of sale/ticketing software and through surveying our constituents. 


Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
Our recent production of Hairspray featured several African American cast members (who came to us from Hartford, New Haven, Branford, Stratford and Shelton), increasing our diversity at Center Stage.  The entire run of this show was sold out before opening night.  As a result, two additional performances were added, which also sold out!
"I want to thank my entire cast and crew for this amazing experience.  I've learned so incredibly much, not only as an actress but as a person.  This show's message has taught me so much along with the beautiful people who brought forth that message.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for helping me to increase my ability as an actress and pushing me to do better than what I thought in the past was my best.  Love my Center Stage Family forever.
-Hairspray Cast Member 
Description While Theater Education has been a big part of the Center Stage history beginning in 1983 with the establishment of the Youth CONNection Summer Musical and Summer Camp. Many of our students begin with us as early as Pre K and stay with us right through adulthood. In the Fall of 2018, the Center Stage Education Center opened its doors in the former St. Joseph School in Shelton.  Director Gina Scarpa and her team of teachers, all of whom have participated in Center Stage programs since they were children, deliver a program of activities to young people that include Summer Theatre Camp, Theatre Arts Classes and Performance Workshops. 
Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Short Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe near term achievement(s) or improvement(s) that will result from this program. This may represent immediate outcomes occurring as a result of the end of a session or service.

For our student performers, success is measured by two standards: growth as a performer as well as personal development. As they progress from one program to another, students take on greater responsibility, stretch their talents, and become role models for younger performers. Many of our students have grown to become teaching assistants, teachers and directors at Center Stage! By enrolling more students in these programs we will increase their engagement in theater arts and their personal growth in ways that their current school curriculum may not provide.

Long Term SuccessHelpOrganizations describe the ultimate change(s) that will result from this program. This may be far into the future and represent an ideal state.

The Lower Naugatuck Valley has few cultural venues and theatrical education programs. By marketing more deeply into other towns, Center Stage will draw a larger, wider audience and student base. The Center Stage Education Center has increased it's reached and grown its student population from surrounding towns.

Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact.

In all programs, success is measured by how the individual performers grow, by ticket sales, and by surveys of all constituents.

In the performing arts, individual performers get immediate feedback on their work, and so they are continually monitored and given opportunities to improve.

A specific show is judged by audience satisfaction. In addition, the artistic directors continually critique the performances and can make adjustments along the way to enhance the overall production.

Center Stage Theatre measures the effectiveness of programs through the number of students enrolled, the number and percentage of students continuing on to higher levels of performance programs, observation by Center Stage Theatre’s Artistic Director and faculty, and feedback from students and parents. In all programs, success is measured by how the individual performers grow.

Parent comments:

“My daughter has been with Center Stage since the 2ndgrade. The confidence and memories she gained her mean everything to me.”

“A great organization run by family-oriented people with much to give and share with the community!”


Program Comments
CEO Comments
For the past 15 years, Center Stage  Theatre has been successful in bringing a full season of shows,  cabarets and education programs to theatergoers in our area while continuing to keep the cost to our patrons and students at an affordable price.  In order to meet our needs to increase our programs and capacity, Center Stage opened the Center Stage Education Center creating much-needed rehearsal and classroom space.  
Ticket sales and tuition alone do not cover the overhead and administrative costs of running Center Stage.  We rely on our great team of volunteers, donors, and sponsors to help defray and cover these costs.
At Center Stage, building community is at the forefront of our mission.   Through producing high-quality theatrical productions and theater education classes, Center Stage connects people of all ages who share a common interest and desire to use their talents and develop their skills by bringing live theater and theater education to our area. 
We are grateful to our community for their continued support.  Won't you join us on our joyous journey? 
Please visit our website at to see the wonderful happenings at our theater! 
CEO/Executive Director
Mr. Martin Scott Marchitto
Term Start Jan 2019

Before taking the position of Artistic/Executive Director at Center Stage, Martin spent the last thirty years working as a freelance theatre artist throughout the country. His experience includes, but is not limited to designing (sets, costumes, lighting and soundscapes), directing and acting for theatre, opera and musicals throughout the country Directing experience includes I Hate Hamlet (at Center Stage), Noises off, Deathtrap, Moon Over Buffalo, The Wayside Motor Inn, Rumors, The Shadow Box, Company, Little Shop of Horrors, Venus, Children of Eden, Titanic the Musical, Me and My Girl, Evil Dead: The Musical, Man of LaMancha, The Tenderland, Company, Little Woman and many more.

Martin has served as resident set designer for the Blue Barn Theatre in Omaha, NE since September of 2008 designing all of the productions including The Goat or who is Sylvia, Bad Jews, and God of Carnage. His set designs there for Reefer Madness: The Musical, The Irresistible Rise of Autoro Ui and In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play won outstanding set design for the Theatre Arts Guild. Besides designing sets for the Blue Barn theatre, Martin was involved in the planning and design of their new theatre facility. Martin has been affiliated with numerous theatres including: The Ivoryton Playhouse, The Downtown Cabaret Theatre, The Saybrook Stage Company, The Yale Repertory Theatre, The Clarence Brown Theatre, The Lake Erie Ballet, Opera North, Illinois Repertory Theatre, The Barrow Civic Theatre, The Academy Theatre, The Rose Theatre, Omaha Ballet Theatre, The New Paradigm Theatre, The New Haven Ballet as well as many educational institutions though out the country.

Martin also has extensive teaching experience in theatre including programs for middle school, high school and college age students including the Trumbull Youth Association where he has been involved since 1988 as either director, designer or both. He has taught at Allegheny College in Meadville, PA, Iowa Western Community College in Council Bluffs, Iowa and is currently teaching theatre at Manhattan College, where he also serves as the Players Director.

Martin holds a BA from Albertus Magnus College, an MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a certificate in drama from Yale School of Drama.

Number of Full Time Staff 2
Number of Part Time Staff 6
Number of Volunteers 100
Number of Contract Staff 0
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 8
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 4
Female 4
Unspecified 0
Former CEOs and Terms
Mrs Francesca ScarpaJan 2007 - Dec 2018
Senior Staff
Title CEO/Associate Artistic Director
Title Director of Administration
Title Education Director
Formal Evaluations
CEO Formal Evaluation Yes
CEO/Executive Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Senior Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Non Management Formal Evaluation Frequency N/A
Shelton Public Schools
Amity High School
Oxford High School
The Kennedy Center ( Bridgeport)
RISE Program
Celebrate Shelton
Valley United Way Corporate Volunteer Council
Shelton EMT
City of Shelton
Counterpoint Big Band 
Millennium AwardCity of Shelton2000
Gary Scarpa-Educator of the YearShelton Jaycees1989
Raymond P. Lavietes Service to Youth AwardBoys and Girls Club of the Lower Naugatuck Valley2009
Breakfast Club SaluteThe Greater Valley Chamber of Commerce2013
Hall of Fame - Gary and Francesca ScarpaShelton High2017
Board Chair
Mr. Joseph Pagliaro
Company Affiliation Riverview and Edward F Adzima Funeral Homes
Term July 2019 to June 2021
Board of Directors
Mr. Rick Belden
Ms. Marilyn CormackRetired, BHcare
Mr. John CorraroBarnum Financial Group
Ms Ernestine Luise
Ms. Sue MaurielloTax Manager, BlumShapiro
Ms. Margaret Mikan
Mr. Joe MingolelloOwner, Mingolello and Associates Architects
Mr. Kenneth NappiState of Connecticut
Ms. Michele Piccolo
Ms. Kathy RiddleDirector of Guidance, Shelton Public Schools
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 11
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 6
Risk Management Provisions
Accident and Injury Coverage
Standing Committees
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
Board Governance
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01 2020
Fiscal Year End Dec 31 2020
Projected Revenue $575,368.00
Projected Expenses $574,831.00
Spending Policy N/A
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund Yes
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201820172016
Total Assets$276,375$297,292$218,446
Current Assets$114,933$203,547$182,063
Long-Term Liabilities$41,643$0--
Current Liabilities$80,348$60,389$70,374
Total Net Assets$154,384$186,832$148,072
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201820172016
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountValley Community Foundation $87,280 Valley Community Foundation $76,266 --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountKatharine Mathies Foundation $15,000Katharine Mathies Foundation $10,000 --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- -- --
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
CEO Comments
Foundation Staff Comments This profile, including the financial summaries prepared and submitted by the organization based on its own independent and/or internal audit processes and regulatory submissions, has been read by the Foundation. Some financial information from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved has been inputted by Foundation staff. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. A more complete picture of the organization’s finances can be obtained by viewing the attached 990s and audited financials. To see if the organization has received a competitive grant from The Community Foundation in the last five years, please go to the General Information Tab of the profile.
Address Center Stage Theatre, Inc.
54 Grove St.
Shelton, CT 06484
Primary Phone 203 225-6079
CEO/Executive Director Mr. Martin Scott Marchitto
Board Chair Mr. Joseph Pagliaro
Board Chair Company Affiliation Riverview and Edward F Adzima Funeral Homes


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