From our origins as a children’s theater to the dynamic, multi-faceted organization you see today, Theater in the Open continually evolves to meet the community’s needs. Which means there's a lot of work that goes on at the Gatekeeper's House year round. Theater in the Open is delivering on all aspects of its mission — as a professional theater company, as a center for youth arts education and as a community partner with the vision to create art that is accessible to all. 

Kelly Shea Knowles
Executive Director

Kelly Shea Knowles began working with Theater in the Open in 2013 with a goal to help expand its education programs and deepen its impact as a key arts and cultural organization on the North Shore. Her background is in brand management and strategic communications planning. She has also worked as an independent communications consultant to non-profit organizations. Kelly holds an M.A. in Early American History. She is a native of Newburyport, MA where she lives with her husband, two daughters and their dog, George Bailey, all of whom love Theater in the Open as much as she does. 


Edward Speck
Artistic Director

Edward, known to most as Teddy, has a long history with Theater in the Open, having been a company member for 12 years, before taking on the role of Artistic Director. He is a talented artist who contributes original work to the Theater in the Open catalogue annually. A graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and The New School University, Teddy recently completed his M.A. in English at the Harvard Extension School. An Amesbury native, Teddy now lives in Newburyport. He is artist in residence at the Maudslay Gatekeeper’s House, which allows Teddy and his wife to raise their young daughters on the edge of these magical woods. 

Board of Directors

Bill Bixby
Judith Chaffee
Suzanne Dubus
Alyssa Gibbs
John Giordano
Sierra Gitlin
Caleigh Holden
Judith Kamber
Hailey Klein
Kimm Wilkinson