Meet the Member: Arts After Hours

Arts After Hours

Samantha Gambaccini - Arts After Hours

In your words... Tell us about your organization, business, initiative.

Arts After Hours is Lynn's community theatre, proudly producing high-quality mainstage productions and youth programming at the Neal Rantoul Black Box Theater in Lynn Arts. Our mission is to engage and transform downtown Lynn through the experience of live theatre.

Tell us a bit about you and why you do what you do? Share your passions for your business, initiative, organization.

As the Artistic Director of Arts After Hours, I curate our season and hire our professional actors and designers. I created the Youth Theatre Initiative to bring affordable performing arts programming to Lynn students. This is my passion project that I work on outside of my day job as an early childhood educator. All of my work with the theatre is in an effort to bring lively, cultural performances to downtown Lynn, and engage audiences with all that our downtown district has to offer.

What role do you think your business plays in supporting a more creative community? OR your community in general. (Bonus! Why do you think a more creative community is important?)

We are proudly the only local theatre group in Lynn, and that means we put Lynn on the map as a center for high caliber performing arts on the North Shore. We strive to involve our entire community in our theatre happenings by public outreach, work in the schools, and edgy programming that our audiences love and know us for. I personally believe that every city needs an artistic hub. The theatre is a place where individuals can come together and experience something special with total strangers. They'll see the exact same show, but leave with completely different thoughts and drastically different questions. It can serve as society's mirror, and sometimes as a basis for conversations that otherwise wouldn't be had. Every community needs something like that to feel whole.

What was the last book you read that made an impact on you?

At the advice of my executive coach, I recently read Feel The Fear and Do It Anyway by Dr. Susan Jeffers, a personal growth book from the 90s. The idea is that every decision in life inevitably has an associated fear, so rather than trying to not be afraid, let yourself feel the fear of the potential outcomes. The idea that you can handle anything that comes at you, regardless of the outcome of your decision, is a powerful sentiment that has helped me through a lot of uncertainty in both my personal and professional life. At Arts After Hours, I am constantly making decisions that will affect a large group of people or sometimes, my entire community in downtown Lynn. This book really gave me the confidence to make those choices knowing that I will definitely make mistakes, but that I can handle anything that comes my way.

What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about you our your business?

I started as an actor in Arts After Hours, and actually met my current partner in my first show with the company over two years ago!