Goodspeed Hosts 7th Annual Festival of New Artists 1/13

Goodspeed Hosts 7th Annual Festival of New Artists 1/13

The Seventh Annual Goodspeed Festival of New Artists, produced by Goodspeed Musicals' Max Showalter Center for Education in Musical Theatre, kicks off its much anticipated three day festival of brand new works on Friday, January 13, at the Goodspeed Opera House with a staged reading of the soulful musical Harmony, Kansas. On Saturday, January 14, Not Wanted on the Voyage from the team who wrote the Goodspeed to Broadway tuner The Story of My Life debuts. On the final day of the festival, the engaging musical The Dogs of Pripyat will be presented. Several special events will round out this exciting weekend. Tickets are available at the Goodspeed Box Office or by calling 860.873.8668 or online at Tickets are $15 each for one show, $10 each for students. This year's festival is sponsored in part by the Noel Coward Foundation, lead oorporate sponsor RisCassi & Davis, P.C. and The Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, Inc.

This year, Goodspeed's ever-popular Festival Package offers a weekend full of special events. The $79 package includes admission to all three staged readings; the New Musical Preview, a short preview of a new musical headed to The Norma Terris Theatre in 2012; the Symposium panel discussion with musical theatre luminaries; "Pick-Three" festival seminar sessions; a Saturday evening pre-show dinner at the Gelston House and a Meet the Writers Reception which will complete the weekend's festivities. Also included in the special Festival Package is a tour of the expansive Goodspeed Costume Collection and admittance to the Friday Night and Saturday Night Cabarets, informal gatherings showcasing new songs by new and established artists.

Goodspeed Opera House tours will be offered throughout the weekend for both Festival Package and single ticket holders.

"The Seventh Annual Goodspeed Festival of New Artists, with its expanded programs and wonderful new talents, highlights our commitment to developing new musicals," said Michael P. Price, Executive Director of Goodspeed Musicals. "It's thrilling for us to see the Goodspeed campus bustling in wintertime. Our community comes alive when hundreds of musical theatre fans from around the country join the best and brightest new writers and performers as they work together to create the future of musical theatre," he added.

Productions from the three composing teams included in the Goodspeed Festival of New Artists and the schedule of Special Events for Festival Package ticket holders include:

Friday, January 13
Harmony, Kansas

7:30 p.m., Goodspeed Opera House

Music by Anna K. Jacobs

Book and Lyrics by Bill Nelson

A new musical with a lively, soulful score that follows Heath, a farmer in rural Harmony, Kansas and his city-born partner who talks him into joining the newly formed gay men's chorus. Heath discovers a love for making music and unexpected kinship. But when the group decides to perform in public, his world is turned upside down and all that matters to him is threatened.

Festival Cabaret
10:00 p.m., Gelston House
Showcasing new songs by new artists.

Saturday, January 14
Break-out Sessions
10:00 - 12:45 p.m., Gelston House

Broadway MVPs
Peter Filichia, Theater Critic and Author of Broadway Musical MVPs, names his picks for the most valuable players of each of the past 50 Broadway seasons-along with plenty of backstage dish. Book signing will follow.

There is Life After the Festival!
The Harmony, Kansas creative team shares the ups and downs of creating a new musical, where their project is headed next and how Goodspeed's Festival helped get it there.

Noël Coward: The Man and His Music
Noël Coward Cabaret Award Winner and Goodspeed favorite Nancy Anderson talks about the amazing life of Noël Coward and performs highlights from his indelible songbook.

Two additional sessions to be announced.

New Musical Preview
2:30 – 3:30 p.m., Goodspeed Opera House
A preview of a new musical headed to Goodspeed's Norma Terris Theatre in 2012

Noël Coward Symposium
4:00 p.m., Goodspeed Opera House

Book of Mormon, Need We Say More?

A lively panel discussion with the Co-Director of the Tony Award-winning hit musical Book of Mormon and Goodspeed alumni Casey Nicholaw. The symposium is sponsored by the Noël Coward Foundation.

*This event is free and open to the public.

Festival Dinner
5:30 p.m., Gelston House
Enjoy a three course meal with fellow festival goers.

Not Wanted on the Voyage
7:30 p.m., Goodspeed Opera House
Music and Lyrics by Neil Bartram

Book by Brian Hill

Based on the novel by Timothy Findley

A housewife, her husband, their three sons, and a talking cat – just an ordinary family living ordinary lives in the turbulent days before the Great Flood. Their ordinary lives are turned upside-down when they learn that they alone will survive the coming deluge. Filled with magic, mythology and, above all else, hope, Not Wanted on the Voyage is a provocative new musical about the first time the world ended.

Festival Cabaret
10:00 p.m., Gelston House

Sunday, January 15
The Dogs of Pripyat
1:00 p.m., Goodspeed Opera House
Music by Aron Accurso
Lyrics by Jill Abramovitz
Book by Leah Napolin & Jill Abramovitz
Based on the play by Leah Napolin
USSR, 1986. As all humans are evacuated from Chernobyl, their pets are left behind to fend for themselves. This is the story of those animals. Boychik is a gentle mutt who pines for his masters' return. But when a pair of alphas take control, Boychik learns how to hunt, kill and ultimately form a new kind of family. Based on true events, The Dogs of Pripyat is a story about hope and survival when they seem least possible.

Meet the Writers Reception
3:30 p.m., Gelston House
Gain insight into the inspirations and processes of the writers. Complimentary hors d'oeuvres and cash bar.

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

Created in 2002, Goodspeed's Showalter Center inspires and nurtures musical theatre artists and students by providing a unique and comprehensive range of training and educational programs to serve both the national and local academic communities.

The New Artists program is being held throughout the Goodspeed campus January 3 – 15, 2012. During the first week of the program, three teams of writers and composers will dedicate their time to further writing and composing their musicals in development. In the second week, senior students from The Hartt School and Boston Conservatory will join them for rehearsals and continued development of the material.

The New Artists program culminates with Goodspeed's Festival of New Artists to showcase staged readings of the new musicals developed during the New Artists Program, one of the Showalter Center's major endeavors. It offers new and emerging artists the rare opportunity to thoroughly work on their projects with the help of Goodspeed's renowned resources and artistic environment, while affording senior students from prominent conservatory programs real-world experience in new musical development and performing new musicals.

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. Goodspeed gratefully acknowledges the support of the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism.

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