Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Goodspeed Announces FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS 2020 Lineup

Goodspeed Announces FESTIVAL OF NEW MUSICALS 2020 Lineup

The lineup has been announced for the 15th Annual Goodspeed Festival of New Musicals.

The much-anticipated three-day festival of brand-new works kicks off on Friday, January 17 at The Goodspeed with a staged reading of The Tattooed Lady. This bold and empowering new tuner features a book by Erin Courtney and Max Vernon and music and lyrics by Max Vernon.

Saturday, January 18 will be highlighted by a staged reading of the innovative and powerful new musical Private Gomer, written by Marshall Pailet. The final day of the festival features the "high-ly" entertaining Grow with book by Matt Murray, music by Colleen Dauncey and lyrics by Akiva Romer-Segal. Additional Festival events, including seminars, symposiums and exclusive cabarets, will round out this exciting weekend.

Single tickets are $25 for each staged reading, $15 each for students. Single show tickets and Festival packages are available through the Goodspeed Box Office 860.873.8668 or online at

"This winter we are thrilled to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of our Festival of New Musicals - one of the cornerstones of Goodspeed's new works development program and the source of countless hours of discovery and entertainment for our new works audience," said Goodspeed's Executive Director Michael Gennaro. "The village of East Haddam will be filled with vitality and exhilaration as hundreds of musical theatre fans from across the country come together to celebrate Goodspeed and the best and brightest writers and performers in musical theatre," he added.

See the full lineup below!

Friday, January 17

The Tattooed Lady

7:30 p.m., The Goodspeed

Book by Erin Courtney and Max Vernon

Music and Lyrics by Max Vernon

Following the death of her husband, Ida, a seventy-eight year old Tattooed Lady and former star of a 1920's Freak show, is faced with two choices: move into her daughter's home, or find the courage to confront her past and return to the stage one last time. And if the ghosts of eight Tattooed Ladies have anything to say about will be the latter. A musical that shatters taboos, The Tattooed Lady explores a woman's right to control her body and choose her own destiny.

Festival Cabaret

Grace McLean featuring special guest Jonathan Brielle

10:00 p.m., Gelston House

Grace McLean is a multi-hyphenate actress-singer-writer-teacher on the rise. In addition to performing (Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812), Grace also makes time for her acclaimed original music, both as a solo artist and with her band Grace McLean & Them Apples. Grace is a Writer in Residence at Lincoln Center and a 2018 MacDowell Colony Fellow and has developed work at CAP21, SPACE on Ryder Farm, The Orchard Project and Johnny Mercer Writer's Colony at Goodspeed.

Jonathan Brielle wrote the music and lyrics for Foxfire with Jessica Tandy (Tony Award) Hume Cronyn, and Keith Carradine; Himself and Nora (book, music, lyrics); Nightmare Alley (book, music. lyrics); 40 Naked Women, A Monkey and Me (book, music, lyrics); Enter The Night (book, music, lyrics); MadHattan (book, music, lyrics); Rugrats, Live! (Executive Music Supervisor); Goosebumps, Live! (Producer, Music.) Jonathan is the Executive Vice President of the Johnny Mercer Foundation and a Writer/Producer in Residence of the Johnny Mercer Writers' Colony at Goodspeed Musicals.

Saturday, January 18


Drama Nerd: Anne of Green Gables

10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., Gelston House / La Vita

Goodspeed's Artistic Associate Anika Chapin leads a deep dive discussion with Matte O'Brien and Matt Vinson about their new musical Anne of Green Gables, set for the summer of 2020 at The Goodspeed.

From Downtown to Uptown: Producer Nancy Gibbs chats about her prolific career as an accomplished producer shepherding shows from non-profits to Broadway.

What's the Buzz? The New and Distinct Voices of Musical Theater: The Producing Director of Musical Theatre Factory, Mei Ann Teo, examines the promising new writers and trends at the cutting edge of musical theatre development.

Exit Interview: A retrospective conversation with Goodspeed Musicals' departing Resident Music Director Michael O'Flaherty on his time at Goodspeed and the ever-evolving landscape of musical theatre.


*Symposium I: The Festival at 15: Fostering the Future

3:00 p.m., The Goodspeed

To celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Festival of New Musicals, we'll take a look back and reflect on the journey of the Festival and Goodspeed's dedication to fostering the future of musical theatre.

*Symposium II: New Vision for New Works - The Terris Theatre in 2020

4:00 p.m., The Goodspeed

Goodspeed Executive Director Michael Gennaro shares an exclusive introduction to the exciting new musicals headed to Goodspeed's Terris Theatre in 2020.

*These events are free and open to the public.

Festival Dinner

5:30 p.m., Gelston House - OR - La Vita

Enjoy a three course meal with fellow festival goers.

Private Gomer

Book, Music and Lyrics by Marshall Pailet

7:30 p.m., The Goodspeed

Private Gomer tells the story of a young WWI soldier who has suffered profound hearing loss. Hiding his deafness, Gomer displays remarkable skill as a sniper- skill which carries him from his home in Wales to the Western front. As he bonds with the colorful characters in his unit, he must face the brutality of war and wrestle with the nature of violence. Private Gomer was conceived at the Johnny Mercer Writer's Colony.

Festival Cabaret

It's the Bear featuring special guest Jonathan Brielle

10:00 p.m., Gelston House

Six co-workers take a team-building retreat to Bear Mountain to sort out workplace tensions. Soon, the co-workers are picked off one by one by an unseen killer; the boss must lead her remaining employees to safety. Will they survive their interpersonal drama and this mysterious murderer? It's the Bear is a cautionary tale is told by a folksy band of merry woodland creatures led by a squirrel.

Sunday, January 19


Book by Matt Murray

Music by Colleen Dauncey

Lyrics by Akiva Romer-Segal

1:00 p.m., The Goodspeed

Before they are baptized into their faith forever, twin sisters Hannah and Ruth go on Rumspringa - the ancient rite of passage for Amish teenagers to explore the modern world. But when the girls find themselves stranded in a scary Toronto neighborhood, their beliefs are tested as they team up with a down-on-his-luck marijuana dealer to run his grow-op. Grow is an outrageously fun, big-hearted musical that examines sisterhood, community and the new horizons that await us all.

Meet the Writers Reception

3:30 p.m., The Goodspeed

Gain insight into the inspirations and processes of the writers during this lively festival wrap-up discussion.

Lodging and dining information for Festival attendees as well as up-to-date information on the weekend's events can be found at

Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles

More Hot Stories For You