Goodspeed Musicals' 45-Year Executive Director Michael Price to Retire in 2014
Goodspeed Musicals' Board of Trustees announced today that a change in leadership will occur at the theatre after the 2014 season. Michael Price, who has led the organization for 45 years, has decided to retire from the position of Executive Director at the end of 2014 but will remain active with Goodspeed in advisory and fundraising roles through 2016.
"Michael Price has been an extraordinary and tireless leader of Goodspeed Musicals for virtually its entire existence. In 1968, he arrived at a small, struggling summer theatre and built it into one of the most respected, artistically successful and financially secure theatres in the country. The institution he entrusts to his successor is among the elite of American artistic institutions, having shaped musical theatre for generations of audiences and artists from our East Haddam and Chester stages to Broadway and beyond. We are extremely grateful for Michael's service and leadership," said John F. (Jef) Wolter, President of the Goodspeed Board of Trustees.
"I have had the honor and the privilege of leading Goodspeed Musicals for more than 45 years but believe with my whole heart, that the time has come to pass the reins onto someone new who will lead the institution into its next phase. The greatest joy is working with the most incredible theatrical team ever assembled, a team that together will take Goodspeed to even greater heights. I look forward to working with our Board of Trustees and staff during the transition period," said Michael Price.
"It has been my privilege and thrill to lead Goodspeed and help make theatre magic. Every Goodspeed production has been a joint effort between our audience members, our Board of Trustees, our supporters, our amazing staff and some of the most talented artists-both on the stage and behind the scenes-to ever work in theatre. I know that with their continued passion and support, Goodspeed's future is brighter than ever," added Price.
The Board of Trustees will conduct a national search for a new Executive Director who is expected to assume leadership of Goodspeed in late 2014. "The Board of Trustees and our staff have been preparing for this transition and are extremely confident that Goodspeed's future is bright and secure," said Wolter. "We are also excited about the search process and the prospect of bringing a worthy successor to Michael into the Goodspeed family. Goodspeed will continue to provide the world-class musical theatre experience that our audiences expect at the Goodspeed Opera House and The Norma Terris Theatre," added Wolter.
Dedicated to the preservation and advancement of musical theatre, Goodspeed Musicals produces three musicals each season at the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn., and additional works at The Norma Terris Theatre in Chester, Conn., which was opened in 1984 for the development of new musicals. The first regional theatre to receive two Tony Awards (for outstanding achievement,) Goodspeed also maintains The Scherer Library of Musical Theatre and The Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre.
As the longest serving artistic director in American theatre, Michael P. Price has produced more than 235 musicals, 75 world premieres, transferred 19 shows to Broadway and transformed Goodspeed Musicals into an internationally recognized home for American musical theatre. In addition, he holds leadership positions in a wide range of non-profit organizations and has served as the Chairman of the Connecticut Commission on the Arts under both Republican and Democratic governors.
Michael Price's fascination with theatre began early. As a child in Chicago he traveled with his grandmother from stage door to stage door visiting family who were working actors. It was also in Chicago where he learned from his uncle, a theatre manager, to count seats in order to keep the producers honest.
He received his BA in theatre at Michigan State University and, in 2013, returned to campus to receive the Michigan State University College of Arts and Letters 50thAnniversary Distinguished Alumni Award. He received a Master of Arts Degree from the University of Minnesota and a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Yale School of Drama.
While at Yale, he became a stagehand at the Shubert Theater and later worked as a stagehand and electrician in several New York theatres. Michael's other early credits are wide and varied and include Executive Producer of the Valley Music Hall in Salt Lake City, original Stage Manager for Richard Rodgers' Music Theater of Lincoln Center, and Production Stage Manager for Andy Williams, Henry Mancini and the Osmonds. As an associate of Broadway designer Sam Leve, he was responsible for the lighting of President Johnson's Inaugural Gala. On Broadway, he designed the lighting for Josephine Baker and for the premiere American tour of the Hungarian National Ballet.
Since 1968, Michael Price has served as the Executive Director of Goodspeed Musicals which is internationally recognized for its dedication to the advancement and preservation of the American musical. For Goodspeed, Michael has produced over 235 classic and new musicals, 75 world premiere musicals, and transferred 19 shows to Broadway (including Man of La Mancha, Annie, and Shenandoah). Goodspeed productions have garnered 13 Tony Awards and 33 Tony nominations, and Goodspeed itself was honored with 2 special Tony Awards -the first regional theatre to receive such an honor twice.
Michael Price is the founder of the League of Historic American Theatres, a founding member of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre, treasurer of the American Theatre Wing, a member of the Tony Awards Management Committee, and serves on the board of the Johnny Mercer Foundation.
He is currently on the Oversight Committee of the Union for Reform Judaism and serves as a trustee of the Foundation for Jewish Culture. Past communal activities include chairman of the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut, past president of the Connecticut Jewish Community Relations Council, trustee of the New Haven Jewish Federation and Foundation, trustee of the PEF Endowment Funds, and a member of the American Jewish Committee's Commission on Contemporary Jewish Life.
Michael Price is the recipient of two honorary doctorates in fine arts, from Connecticut College and the University of Hartford. He is also a recipient of the State of Connecticut Arts Award for service to the arts and serves as the chairman of the Connecticut Culture and Tourism Advisory Committee. He is married to Jo-Ann Nevas; they are the proud parents of Rebecca, Daniel and his wife Lisa Rudikoff as well as proud grandparents of Daniel and Lisa's son Ezra who will soon be learning the "business" from his grandfather.