Knudsen Leads Non-Profit Legacy Theatre
By Pam Johnson | Published by The Sound
03/12/2013 04:12 PM
With Keely Baisden Knudsen in the lead, there’s no doubt the Stony Creek Puppet House will live on, as The Legacy Theatre.
Keely founded the non-profit Legacy Theatre in 2011, launching a feasibility study to find a place where the tradition of professional theater could include education and training opportunities for all abilities and ages. Before too long, the Creek’s 1903 theater building was pinpointed as ideal in location, size, and scope. In July 2012, the non-profit clinched an exclusive contract to purchase the Puppet House, a Connecticut Historic Landmark.
Given the special place the theater holds for many, “Once we combined our efforts with the Stony Creek Puppet House, it was like wildfire,” says Keely. “People were so interested in that space and what was going to happen to it. Even our name, Legacy Theatre, fits. It was kismet.”
In more happy news, Keely learned last week the closing date will be March 28-about four months ahead of schedule.
Of course, there’s still much work to be done. The building will be restored, renovated, and re-envisioned as the Legacy’s permanent home with a 150- to 200-seat theater. On Saturday, April 6, Keely invites supporters to A Legacy for Tomorrow, an elegant and culturally rich gala at Pine Orchard Yacht & Country Club. The red-carpet evening will feature dinner, auctions, and entertainment. All proceeds will be matched, up to $50,000, to help renovate the theater.
In its 110-year history, the Puppet House has been a silent movie house, the repertory theater home of the famed Parish Players, a summer stock house, a World War II parachute factory, and a puppet house. As the Legacy Theatre, the building will revive its repertory hey-day while also serving as a teaching and training center and a locale for outside productions and events.
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