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
Web and Social Media
Rendering 2019
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 Stephanie Williams
Board Chair Company Affiliation Trailviews Foundation
Financial Summary
Revenue vs Expenses Bar Graph - All Years
Mission 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.

Background 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 Clark Gable, 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. 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.

Wyeth Architects and GWG Architects have created outstanding plans, boasting an orchestra pit, music boxes, balconies, and an accessible technical booth. OR&L will oversee the building of the 127 seat theater and will begin the building process in the 2019 calendar year.  
Needs 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 $4.2 million dollars required to complete the theatre’s restoration and open its doors. Over half of the funds have been raised, and a bridge loan has been secured to complete the building project. Pledges made now, for up to a five-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.


Description Monthly productions are currently held at the Stony Creek Museum through August of 2019. For information, please visit www.LegacyTheatreCT.org.
Population Served / /
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
Plans & Policies
Organization has a Fundraising Plan? Yes
Organization has a Strategic Plan? Yes
Years Strategic Plan Considers 10
Date Strategic Plan Adopted July 2018
Management Succession Plan? Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Senior Staff
Title Executive/Artistic Director
Title Theater Manager
Title Development Officer
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
Stephanie Williams
Company Affiliation Trailviews Foundation
Term June 2015 to June 2020
Board of Directors
Damian DoriaInternational Theater Design Firm
Carol Gagliardi
Katina Gionteris
Brian Knudsen
Kathleen H. MurphyBusiness owner
James RodayActor
Charles R. RountreeAccountant
Jana SheaBroadway Producer, owner Seaview Productions
Tom Sheaformer CFO/CEO
Aleta StatonTheater educator and actress
Earl Tucker
Luke WilliamsReal Estate Developer and Business Owner
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 1
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 0
Hispanic/Latino 1
Native American/American Indian 0
Other 11 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 7
Female 6
Standing Committees
Advisory Board / Advisory Council
Board Governance
Capital Campaign
Fiscal Year Start July 01 2018
Fiscal Year End June 30 2019
Projected Revenue $3,000,000.00
Projected Expenses $1,400,000.00
Credit Line Yes
Reserve Fund No
Detailed Financials
Prior Three Years Assets and Liabilities Chart
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$507,504$492,890$529,183
Current Assets$20,340$5,729$42,019
Long-Term Liabilities$400,000$400,000$400,000
Current Liabilities------
Total Net Assets$107,504$165,476$129,183
Prior Three Years Top Three Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountTrailviews Foundation $287,650 -- --
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountWebster Private Bank $7,500 -- --
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountMFund $5,000 -- --
Capitial Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? Yes
Goal $4,200,000.00
Dates July 2016 to Dec 2019
Amount Raised To Date 2700000 as of Feb
Capital Campaign Anticipated in Next 5 Years? Yes
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 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 Stephanie Williams
Board Chair Company Affiliation Trailviews Foundation


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