Kelley directed scores of productions at the Margate theater over the decades and twice served as its artistic director in 1997, then again in 2001.
A song and dance man with experience on national tours, Kelley began working in the region in community theaters. In 1989, he was at an audition for the Fort Lauderdale Players’ production of Company when he met Derelle Wilson (later Bunn). Kelley somehow knew they had a future together, Bunn said. Kelley told his partner, “I don’t know who that woman is, but I will know her the rest of my life
He then was hired by virtually every professional theater in the region in late 1980s through the 90s including Actors’ Playhouse, Royal Palm Dinner Theatre, Ruth Foreman Theatre and Stage Door, which had been founded by David Torres and the woman he met at the audition, Dee Bunn.
In 1997, Bunn and Torres asked Kelley to direct his first show ever, A Chorus Line. Kelley said, “It was a giant leap of faith / crapshoot on their part which seemed to work out because 17 years and over 100 shows later I’m still directing here at Stage Door.”
Among Kelley’s career highlights Zaza/Albin in La Cage aux Folles in 2000 (Carbonell nomination best actor in a musical ), Parade (regional premiere, Carbonell nomination best direction), The Drowsy Chaperone (winner Silver Palm Award, nominated Carbonell award best actor and director, and Neil Simon’s Rumors (winner best ensemble Carbonell Award).