Creating theater experiences that entertain, educate, and enlighten our community

Our Founders

Linda Baker was the performing arts teacher at McNary High School here in Keizer for 15 years and was the creative force behind 40 theatrical productions.

Evan Christopher is a performing arts graduate of McNary and Western Oregon University. He has directed productions in Portland, Monmouth and Keizer.

Meet the Board

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Linda Baker


Linda Baker graduated from California State University at Long Beach, where she earned both a BA and MA in Theater and Education. She taught theater for 30 years from grades 7 to community college and headed the McNary High School Theater Arts program for 16 years. Linda won both the Crystal Apple Award for excellence in education and the Keizer Service to Education Award. In 2012, she founded Keizer Homegrown Theatre. In the community, Linda has been involved in the Salem Art Association, Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce, Distinguished Young Women of Keizer Program and the Salem Theatre Network. A vital member of the regional arts community, Linda continues to lead and inspire excellence in theatre programs throughout the Willamette Valley.

Bob Busch


Bob Busch graduated from Grants Pass High School in 1974 and continued his education at OSU the following fall. He earned two BS degrees; one in Business Administration and the other in Business Education. Since graduating, he has worked many different jobs, mainly in the medical and retail fields. Most notable are the 25+ years spent as a volunteer firefighter/EMT with Keizer Fire District. While serving there, he was named the EMT of the Year for 2000. He retired due to health issues in early 2019. His primary duties with KHT are to attend Keizer Chamber of Commerce events, publicize productions, and to head up the volunteer program.

Jeremy Clubb


Jeremy Clubb is another Keizer and McNary native. He has been working with Linda since he was a freshman in high school. Twenty of the twenty-five years he has worked in theatre have been spent with Linda. In that time, he has done it all: Lighting, sound, props, acting, set design, and building, and he directed Dog House the Musical. However, his true talent is finding talented people and bringing them into the fold. He values that Keizer Homegrown strives to be accessible to the members of the community who want to do theater but have families and other responsibilities. He appreciates that KHT tries to optimize the volunteer time so that people still get to do what they love and create art, without it detracting from day-to-day life.

Sam Goesch


Sam Goesch has deep roots in the Keizer, Oregon community. After graduating from McNary High School and earning a B.S. in Business from Oregon State University, he returned to the area as a State Farm insurance agent since 1981. Sam has always been actively involved in the community, serving in the Boy Scouts and coaching basketball and baseball. Occasionally, you will see him playing the string bass in the pit orchestra. He participated in the Keizer Planning Commission, the Salem Schools Foundation Board, and served as president of the Little League and Chamber of Commerce.

Mike Jaffe


Mike Jaffe works as the Transportation Planning Director at the Mid-Willamette Valley Council of Governments in Salem, working with the local governments to make travel safer and more convenient in the Salem-Keizer area. Mike is also an actor, having appeared in 5 shows with Keizer Homegrown Theater and several shows at Salem’s Pentacle Theatre. Mike joined the Keizer Homegrown Theatre Board in 2020. Mike has always loved the experience of live theatre and makes time to attend shows in Ashland, Eugene, Portland, and recently twice in New York City.

Jennifer Johnson


Jennifer Johnson has been involved in theatre for over forty years. She’s performed in over fifty productions in the Bay Area and many professional and community companies throughout the west. She’s directed children and adult productions, founded The Blue Parrot Children’s Theatre in Clark County, administrated the Poetry Out Loud program in the SW Washington area, acted as Board President for The New Blue Parrot Productions, served on the Board of Directors for Pacific Stageworks, and joined the Board of Keizer Homegrown Theatre in 2019. She is an award-winning costumer, has conducted and participated in community choirs and orchestras, and participated on many technical and production crews.

Matt Lawyer


Matt Lawyer graduated from McNary high school in 2001 and spent nearly 10 years in the Navy. He is actively pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Communication from Eastern Oregon University. Matt has been on the Keizer Homegrown Theatre Board since before the board was finalized. He is active in the Keizer Community on the Claggett Creek Watershed Council, Keizer Parks Board, and Planning Commission. Matt was awarded the Keizer Chamber of Commerce President’s award in 2017 and the City of Keizer Volunteer of the Quarter, also in 2017. Matt and his family participate in projects of all kinds with the City of Keizer and Keizer Homegrown Theatre.

Jeff Minden


Jeff Minden graduated from McNary High School in 1999. In 2004 he graduated from Southern Oregon University. He is probably most recognized for his performances on the KHT stage as Joe Pendleton in Heaven Can Wait, Henry Bingham in The Fox on the Fairway, and Brent Reynolds in Drop Dead. He is also well known as the Director of KHT shows like The Hitchhiker/Sorry Wrong Number and The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Jeff runs the KHT social media and the box office software.

Becky Nielson


Becky Nielson’s passion for theatre began while watching McNary’s Brigadoon rehearsals when she was in 8th grade. While in high school, Becky became interested in business. She began working in bookkeeping and tax preparation at 15 years old. After living in Wyoming and Delaware for a couple of years, she finally came home to Keizer in 2013. She joined the ranks at KHT in 2016 where she’s been on stage, backstage, and in-house. She is married to Lars and has three children.

Laura Reid


Laura Reid is involved in Keizer in a myriad of ways. She has been an English teacher at McNary High School for nearly 20 years, having been department coordinator, site council representative, Islander Club advisor, dance team coach, and Crystal Apple Award nominee. In addition, she has served on the Keizer City Council since 2016, which has given her keen insights into the inner workings of Keizer through serving on committees such as the Festival Advisory Board, the Southeast Keizer Neighborhood Association, the Stormwater Advisory Committee, and the Budget Committee. Furthermore, she serves on both the Keizer Heritage Foundation board and the Keizer Homegrown Theatre board. She also actively serves her family and church in a variety of capacities. To all these endeavors she brings a wide variety of perspectives and connections.

Loriann Schmidt


Loriann Schmidt has been a theater geek for as long as she can remember. Starting out on stage at age 7, she immediately fell in love and hasn’t left since. Loriann can be seen mostly behind the scenes, directing, sewing costumes, doing light design, and geeking out with all the equipment in the tech booth. As a theater educator in the Salem and Portland community, she has done wild things like housed a 2-story set for Noises Off in her living room, caught a falling set wall without losing a line during a live show, and reprogrammed an entire shows-worth of light cues during a performance. She is excited to be welcomed onto the board at Keizer Homegrown Theatre and looks forward to many years serving the live theater community in our area.

Lyndon Zaitz


Lyndon Zaitz is the publisher of the Keizertimes, the community weekly newspaper in Keizer, Oregon. He is now and has been a member of many community organizations including: Keizer Chamber of Commerce, Keizer Community Library, Keizer Fire Foundation and the Keizer Heritage Foundation (operator of the building where Keizer Homegrown Theatre is located). Lyndon has tread the boards, portraying Julius Caesar and Puck, among others, for KHT’s Shakespeare in the Park productions since 2012. He designs posters and programs for the theater’s productions.