Creating theater experiences that entertain, educate, and enlighten our community
Growing up, Linda Baker was the kid who staged plays and pageants in her backyard. She graduated from California State University at Long Beach, where she earned both a BA and MA in Theater and Education. She taught theater from grades seven to community college and headed the McNary High School Theater Arts program for sixteen years. That’s considered thirty-two in Drama teacher years. Linda received both the Crystal Apple Award for Excellence in Education and the Keizer Service to Education Award, but her most treasured accolade is this quote in the Keizertimes when she retired, “She made drama cool” In 2012, she and former McNary student, Evan Christopher, founded Keizer Homegrown Theatre. A vital member of the regional arts community, Linda continues to lead and inspire excellence in theatre programs throughout the Willamette Valley.
Meet the Board
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.
Keizer Chamber of Commerce Liaison | Marketing & Volunteer Coordinator
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.
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.
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.
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.
Board Member | Social Marketing Manager | Box Office IT
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.
Board Member | Graphic Designer
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.