Legacy Theatre
128 Thimble Islands Road
Branford CT 06405
Contact Information
Address 128 Thimble Islands Road
Branford, CT 06405-
Telephone (203) 208-5504 x
Fax 203-208-5504
E-mail info@LegacyTheatreCT.org
The Legacy Theatre is a professional theatre company that enhances the Connecticut Shoreline's economy, educational opportunities and quality of life through live theatre and related programs. The Legacy strives to be a premiere arts house and educational facility, ensuring ongoing seasons of transformative and challenging professional theatre and theatre training for all.
At A Glance
Year of Incorporation 2011
Organization's type of tax exempt status Public Supported Charity
Organization received a competitive grant from the community foundation in the past five years No
CEO/Executive Director Keely Baisden Knudsen
Board Chair Brian Knudsen
Board Chair Company Affiliation Real Estate developer and records manager at wealth management firm
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
The Legacy Theatre is a professional theatre company that enhances the Connecticut Shoreline's economy, educational opportunities and quality of life through live theatre and related programs. The Legacy strives to be a premiere arts house and educational facility, ensuring ongoing seasons of transformative and challenging professional theatre and theatre training for all.

For over 100 years, the theater at Stony Creek has delighted generations of audiences as a silent movie house, a rare puppet museum and theater, and a venue for community and professional live theatre, featuring such iconic figures as Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles, and Mitzi Gaynor, to name a few. In recent years, the theater has sadly fallen into great disrepair.
The Legacy succeeded in saving this incredible theater from ruin with its March 2013 purchase and is currently restoring this historic building to create a newly renovated, elegant theatrical space where the resident professional company will produce year-round seasons of professional performances and training.



The Legacy Theatre was established in June 2011 to create inspiring professional theater and theatrical training on the Shoreline, to advance the process of restoring an historic facility for the community, and to foster a sense of empowerment among those participating as artists, students, and audience members.
In March 2013, Legacy succeeded in purchasing the 1903 Stony Creek Puppet House theater, marking this the third time in its 110-year history to change hands. A theater facility feasibility study conducted in 2012 by Webb Management of NYC demonstrates the desire among theatre goers in the Shoreline communities of Branford, Guilford, and Madison for just such a performance center. Outside of the city of New Haven, there are few facilities for theatre troupes reliant on rental spaces, so the need for a permanent home for Legacy is clear.
The historic 1903 theater, most recently known as the Stony Creek Puppet House, requires complete restoration. Alliance Theater Consulting and Construction (Hamden, CT) and Elm City Architects (Branford, CT) are overseeing plans to renovate and update the historic space. The roof has been replaced, thanks to generous grants from the 1772 Foundation and CT Trust for Historic Preservation, the Branford Community Foundation, and the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven. The neighboring house on Legacy's campus welcomes visiting artists to create new works as they retreat in the historic Stony Creek village and workshop their pieces with Legacy's resident company of actors. This "Artist's Cottage" underwent complete renovation and has been named the George Victor Artist Cottage by a generous donation from Tom and Jana Shea.
With the community outreach and care to tje surrounding neighbors to ensure that the theater will maintain the charm of Stony Creek through its operations,  Artistic Director Keely Baisden Knudsen and Managing Director Greg Nobile look forward to a year charged with the energy needed to fulfill Legacy's promise.

The Stony Creek Puppet House was in immediate danger of being destroyed or repurposed and Legacy was fortunate to “arrive on the scene” at the right time. Since its purchase, professionals have been working steadily to obtain approvals and is now finalizing designs for the build.

Legacy’s Board of Directors has launched a capital campaign - Legacy’s Future Fund - to raise the $1.4 million dollars required to complete the theatre’s restoration and open its doors. Pledges made now, for up to a three-year time period, will insure that work can begin immediately. Pledges in amounts large or small are gratefully appreciated.

Naming opportunities, including the theatre’s lobby, greenroom, dressing rooms and seats, are available for those making significant contributions to the campaign and wishing their names, or the names of those they choose to commemorate, to be forever part of this cultural landmark. Join us in preserving the legacy of the past, while building a new Legacy for the future!

Service Categories
Primary Organization Category Arts,Culture & Humanities / Theater
Secondary Organization Category Education /
Areas Served
State wide
New Haven
East Haven
Lower Naugatuck Valley
North Branford
North Haven
West Haven

The Legacy Theatre is poised to enhance the Shoreline cultural community with the founding of a professional repertory company and training center in the village of Stony Creek, in the heart of beautiful Branford, Connecticut.

Legacy’s inaugural season will bring play productions in fall and spring, and a rotating repertory of musicals, classics, and shows for young audiences in the summer months.

Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes

The family is at the heart of the Legacy’s vision. Considering the accompanying phrase “a stage that inspires”, the Legacy is committed to offering a selection of programming that will invite parents, children, and grandchildren into the doors of the theater consistently. Saturday Morning Children’s Series will be a mainstay draw at The Legacy, and will provide a unique and valuable experience on the Shoreline for families of the neighboring communities and weekend tourists to anticipate and enjoy.

Population Served Children and Youth (0 - 19 years) / General/Unspecified /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes

Theatre training at all levels will be offered through Legacy’s Artist Teachers, members of the resident repertory company. Courses in performance technique will be available for professional actors, serious amateurs, teens, and children. Training in aspects of technical theatre will also be offered, utilizing the theatre’s state-of-the-art facility for hands-on learning.

Accelerated students may have the opportunity to apprentice in professional shows, gaining Equity (union) points towards professional status.

Population Served General/Unspecified / /
Program is linked to organization’s mission and strategy Yes
Program is frequently assessed based on predetermined program goals Yes
Program Success Monitored ByHelpOrganizations describe the tools used to measure or track program impact. The success of Legacy's educational programs is monitored by the Artistic Director.
Examples of Program SuccessHelpOrganization's site specific examples of changes in clients' behaviors or testimonies of client's changes to demonstrate program success.
While Legacy's permanent home in Stony Creek is undergoing renovations, educational programs are conducted in alternative locations on the Shoreline and in New Haven:
  • Summer 2011 Legacy partnered with New Haven Ballet's Shoreline Studio to hold summer drama camps in acting and musical theater.
  • 2012 Legacy offered Saturday morning workshops at the Guilford Community Center the first Saturday of the month, from Jan-May for independent workshops in acting for all ages.
  • June 2013 Legacy partnered with Read to Grow and offered play-writing material and costumes and workshops with the community.
  • Summer and Fall 2013 Legacy taught acting programs to a home-school group in Guilford.
  • Fall 2013 partnered with many Branford community organizations to direct a staged reading of Our Town with community members of all ages.
  • Winter 2013 - Spring 2014 Legacy partnered with the Housing Authority of New Haven to conduct acting programs with at-risk youth in the Quinnipiac Terrace housing project.


CEO/Executive Director
Keely Baisden Knudsen
Term Start Mar 2011
Email keely@legacytheatreCT.org
Experience Keely Baisden Knudsen graduated first in her class with a BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts and received a Masters in Drama on full scholarship from The Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. A member of Actors' Equity Association, Keely has performed internationally in plays, musicals, operas, dance companies, mime and puppet theater, and has choreographed and directed dozens of theatrical productions. Locally, she has been the Director of Education for the Elm Shakespeare Company and has taught at Yale University, Fairfield University, Hartt School of Drama, Southern Connecticut State University, and Quinnipiac University. Keely and her family reside in Guilford, CT, where she is the Founder and Artistic Director of The Legacy Theatre.
Number of Full Time Staff 0
Number of Part Time Staff 0
Number of Volunteers 10
Number of Contract Staff 3
Staff Retention Rate 100%
Staff Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 3
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 0 0
Staff Demographics - Gender
Male 1
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Senior Staff
Title Director of Development and Administration
Experience/Biography Kate Fletcher has worked in arts administration and development for a number of theatre, visual arts, and educational organizations including the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, CA, and Maine Media Workshops and College in Rockport, Maine. A graduate of Miami University's theatre program, she recently trained at the Beverly Hills Playhouse acting school in Los Angeles. Kate has also maintained significant involvement with theatre companies in Maine's Midcoast region, as director, producer, actor, and board member.
Title Managing Director
Experience/Biography Greg Nobile is also the President of Leo Minor Productions, a theatrical production company with the most recent credit of A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder and Of Mice and Men on Broadway; upcoming productions include Witness Uganda at the American Repertory Theater and College Musical at Ars Nova. Greg's nonprofit work includes serving as the co-founder of The Lemonade Gang, advisory committee member of the Branford Community Foundation and Branford Cares, trustee of the Pine Orchard Chapel, member of the Branford Festival Committee, and volunteer for countless local and national organizations. He has won the American Red Cross Hero Award, Prudential Spirit of Community Award, and is a proud Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow. Greg attended Marymount Manhattan College and is a graduate of the Commercial Theater Institute in New York City.
Read to Grow, Branford Cares, Rotary International, Connecticut Historical Society, United Way, Branford Community Gardens, Branford Early Childhood Collaborative, Housing Authority of New Haven, Branford Public Schools, Friends of the Blackstone Library, Willoughby Wallace Library, New Haven Ballet Shoreline, Branford Festival, and Guilford Parks and Recreation.
Board Chair
Brian Knudsen
Company Affiliation Real Estate developer and records manager at wealth management firm
Term June 2011 to June 2017
Board of Directors
Damian Doria International Theater Design Firm
Carol Gagliardi
Katina Gionteris
Sandra Jedziniak
Brian Knudsen
Jeremy Mellitz
Kathleen H. Murphy Business owner
Edward Renn Attorney at Law and Partner at Withers Bergmann, LLC
James Roday Actor
Charles R. Rountree Accountant
Jana Shea Broadway Producer, owner Seaview Productions
Tom Shea former CFO/CEO
Aleta Staton Theater educator and actress
Luke Williams Real Estate Developer and Business Owner
Stephanie Stiefel Williams Actress and attorney
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 9
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 5 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 4
Unspecified 5
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2013
Fiscal Year End June 30 2014
Projected Revenue $162,100.00
Projected Expenses $147,950.00
Credit Line No
Reserve Fund No
Form 990s
IRS Letter of Exemption
Legacy Theatre determination letter
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Expense Allocations Chart
Fiscal Year201320122011
Program Expense$4,655$161,102--
Administration Expense$38,000----
Fundraising Expense$11,684----
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses4.131.17--
Program Expense/Total Expenses9%100%--
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue5%0%--
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201320122011
Total Assets$617,257$26,966--
Current Assets$617,257$26,966--
Long-Term Liabilities$400,000----
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$217,257$26,966--
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201320122011
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountThe Martyn Foundation $50,000 ----
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- ----
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- ----
Short Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities------
Long Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201320122011
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets65%0%--
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Goal $1,400,000.00
CEO Comments We are currently in the process of raising funds to complete the restoration of the theatre, and in the 2013-2014 fiscal year we are projecting lower expenses than revenue to ensure we break even, should our fundraising events not meet or exceed last year's revenue levels.
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 Community Foundation.  Financial information is input by Foundation staff directly from the organization’s IRS Form 990, audited financial statements or other financial documents approved by the nonprofit’s board. The Foundation has not audited the organization’s financial statements or tax filings, and makes no representations or warranties thereon. The Community Foundation requires three years of financial information from the nonprofit organization; however, this requirement may not be available for some organizations due to their more recent incorporation or formation. The Community Foundation is continuing to receive information submitted by the organization and may periodically update the organization’s profile to reflect the most current financial and other information available. The organization has completed the fields required by The Community Foundation and updated their profile in the last year. 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 128 Thimble Islands Road
Branford, CT 06405
Primary Phone 203 208-5504
Contact Email info@LegacyTheatreCT.org
CEO/Executive Director Keely Baisden Knudsen
Board Chair Brian Knudsen
Board Chair Company Affiliation Real Estate developer and records manager at wealth management firm


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